How did the Planning Proposal come about?
The Planning Proposal is the result of a “Local Planning Direction” originally issued by the Minister for Planning on 15 February 2019. The Direction gave Byron Shire Council the opportunity to lodge a Planning Proposal that could identify or reduce the number of days that non-hosted STRA may be carried out in parts of its local government area.
What does the Planning Proposal do?
At the current time, non-hosted STRA is limited to 180-days per year. This rule is set by the NSW Government and has applied to the Byron Shire since 31 January 2022.
If the Planning Proposal is adopted, non-hosted STRA will be limited to 90-days per year in most of the Byron local government area. Exceptions to this are proposed to include four mapped precincts in parts of Byron Bay (East and West), Suffolk Park and Brunswick Heads where it would be permitted 365-days per year.
Why is Council considering a limitation on non-hosted STRA?
The region’s popularity as a tourist destination, combined with the emergence of online accommodation platforms and the ability for landowners to achieve comparatively high rental yields, has led to a boom in the STRA sector over the past decade. What was once a relatively low-key industry, consisting of holiday houses and apartments let out for part of the year, has expanded to become the dominant provider of tourist and visitor accommodation services in Byron Shire.
Council believes that the shift away from permanent housing towards STRA has contributed to a range of social and economic issues in the region including upward pressure on house prices and rents and reduced levels of accommodation availability for workers (see 'Social and economic impacts' for more details).
The changes only apply to non-hosted STRA as Council considers this to have a greater impact on the residential housing market than hosted STRA.