Byron Bay Town Centre Planning Controls

To deliver the vision and initiatives of the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan, changes to our planning controls in the town centre are required.

We wanted to hear from the community at the very beginning of the process as to how the planning controls should perform.  In June 2018, a series of workshops were held.  We heard great ideas and suggestions about zoning, building heights, design excellence and parking, that formed the starting point and foundation for us to review how the planning controls should be amended. 

Planning proposals (documentation to amend our Byron Local Environmental Plan LEP 2014) have been progressing to enable the changes. The first planning proposal to make changes about how parts of the rail corridor can be used, was finalised in September 2019.

The second draft planning proposal proposes to introduce a new ‘B3 Commercial Core’ zone for the town centre as well as development standards around design, height, floor space ratio and car parking provisions.

Alongside the planning proposal, we have prepared a new Chapter E9 of our Development Control Plan 2014 (DCP) to outline detailed planning controls.

  • Address: Byron Bay Town Centre
  • Status:    Exhibition consultation closed 15 November 2019.
  • Objective: to enable the delivery of priorities identified in the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan.  Proposed amendments include changes to land use zoning and development standards to ensure appropriate land uses, and allow development standards that maintain the character of the Byron Bay Town Centre.

The Planning Proposal also introduces new provisions to ensure design excellence, including activation of commercial frontages, maximum parking rates for specified land uses and mixed use development.

A number of submissions on the draft planning controls were received. Staff are currently reviewing the submissions as well as the proposed planning controls. A report to Council is expected in early 2020 outlining the exhibition period.

Purpose of the planning controls

The second planning proposal and new DCP 2014 Chapter E9 controls include:

  • the introduction of a new B3 commercial core zone to differentiate Byron Bay town centre from other centres in the Shire
  • removal of the floor space ratio controls to promote better designed buildings and reduce wasted land
  • the inclusion of the area between Lawson St. and Bay Lane in the 11.5m height limit
  • controls for design excellence ensuring new buildings are designed well and incorporate sustainable principles
  • minimising the amount of vehicular traffic and identify maximum carpark provisions for mixed use developments
  • the introduction of a building height allowance map to account for flood levels
  • active street frontages ensuring bottom floor development is inviting to pedestrians and integrates into the streetscape
  • promoting mixed use development, while maintaining the small town village feel of the town centre
  • addressing the number of storeys compatible with the character of the town centre and minimum floor to ceiling heights specific to permissible uses. 

These controls will enable the following initiatives of the Masterplan:

  • facilitating well designed development of appropriate height and scale, in line with community vision
  • defining the edges of the town centre 'business zone'
  • protecting the character and vibrancy of the town
  • easing congestion and making the town centre more 'people friendly, promoting people over cars'.  

Activation of the Rail Corridor

This finalised amendment to our LEP 2014 will allow additional land uses that will be permitted with and without consent on specific land within the Byron Bay Rail Corridor and at the Lawson Street South Car Park, to facilitate community use of the rail corridor and implement landscape plans. Development such as community facilities, information and education facilities and existing markets, would be permitted with development consent.