Large parts of the site have been zoned Environmental Protection (E2) and Environmental Management (E3). Broken Head Coastal Foundation and Byron Shire Council both supported this zoning change, which was gazetted (made lawful) on 28th February 2020. Combined with the other environmental zones and controls applying to this land, this protects some 65% of the site in perpetuity.
This application avoids sensitive habitats, utilising areas of cleared land (mown grassland) or significantly modified vegetation subject to regular mowing.
Should this application be approved the excellent environmental works that the Broken Head Coastal Foundation have designed and implemented would be intensified. Their approach can be understood by viewing the Linnaeus Nature Guide.
This application is based on and because of protection of the ecology. Success of the ecotourism enterprise depends upon protection of the biodiversity values of the property.
For more information regarding ecology please click here.
We do not require access through the private road from Broken Head Road to Seven Mile Beach Road. Nor do we require access through Seven Mile Beach Road.
Some neighbours have expressed concern about additional people on local beaches and roads. Please allow us to respond to some of these concerns.
1.0 Ecotourism vs tourism
The ecotourism experience is intended as high yield and low impact for the local community and surrounding ecology. A very large property mostly preserved for nature providing a genuine Australian habitat experience for very few (relative to the size of the property) people. For information regarding the criteria for “Eco-tourist uses” please click here.
There are numerous high end accommodation providers in and around Byron Bay which cater brilliantly for travellers who wish to let their hair down and party. We would not be among them.
It is suggested that our pricing structure would deter those wishing to spend a lot of time offsite. Given our limited dining option we believe that our guests would dine offsite maybe once daily.
We would also promote formal offsite activities with local tourism providers in and around Byron Bay.
3.0 Guest induction
Guest induction would occur over four phases.
The promise is nature and connection. While the marketing would be upmarket and polished, the experience promoted would be one of rustic natural luxury with a wellbeing and health focus.
The booking confirmation email would include content regarding the fragile nature of the property and surrounding area. There would be a link and an attachment to further information.
Upon arrival guests would be welcomed and provided with a verbal induction. This would cover:
- Out of bounds areas of the property
- Where guests can and can’t go unguided
- The retreat ethos including quiet appreciation of nature
- Key points re the surrounding area. Such as roads to avoid. Some of this would be communicated as where to go as opposed to where not to go
- Guests would be advised of the nature of the beach and that swimming is at their own risk. Should guests wish to access the beach they would do so via an existing gate
The in cabin compendium would provide further detail regarding the sensitivity of the property and local area. Again, it will sometimes be about advising guests what to do as opposed to what not to do.
4.0 Ongoing guest education
Given the intimate nature of the retreat staff will be across what guests are doing and can monitor/advise as appropriate.
5.0 Ongoing management
We intend to work hard to be excellent neighbours and add value to the Broken Head community over time. Ongoing feedback will be invaluable in improving our operations.
We will lodge our development application with Byron Shire Council. They will process the application, hold their own public exhibition period and prepare an assessment for consideration by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (formerly the Joint Regional Planning Panel or JRPP). Any ecotourism project with a value over $5 million must go to the Northern Regional Planning Panel.
This is not a wedding venue. For the proposed ecoretreat component of Linnaeus to work both the “eco” and “retreat” products and experiences must be solid. The habitat values of the property must be maintained and continually enhanced. The experience of nature must be at the fore. Events are not a fit. There is no place for event guests. Access would be for overnight guests only.
We intend to work very hard to ensure that we are good neighbours. That the proposed changes bring no negative consequences at all for our neighbours.
Only overnight guests and Linnaeus unitholders would be able to access ecoretreat facilities. This is intentionally a low scale low footprint intimate retreat. By opening it to the public key factors would change which would potentially compromise both the habitat and the guest experience.
A specialist Hotel Management Consultant has estimated that 75 full-time equivalent positions would be created with up to 49 staff on-site at any one time.
The impact of the proposed ecotourism addition has been assessed by expert traffic engineers to determine what changes (if any) would be required to ensure that safety and efficiency are maintained. This was carried out through an assessment of the existing site conditions, estimated parking requirements and traffic generation.
The existing ‘seagull’ intersection arrangement on MR545 (Broken Head Road/The Coast Road) has been assessed according to the warrants for turn treatment and safe intersection sight distance from Austroads. The existing arrangement provides for traffic safety and efficiency for both the existing and proposed development traffic generation, with capacity for much higher traffic volumes. The existing access connection to MR545 also has enough width and length to meet the requirements of AS2890 for access. Therefore no changes are proposed.
Yes. The preliminary assessment of daily wastewater generation including the ecotourism addition has been estimated as 23.7 kL/d. The capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plant is 18.1 kL/d. A proposed upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 30kL/d has been prepared. This is able to be accommodated within the footprint of the approved plant. The treated effluent irrigation system has a current capacity of approximately 50 kL/d which is sufficient to accommodate the increased flow.
No. This application is separate to a planning proposal for community title from the Broken Head Coastal Foundation which has been endorsed by the Byron Shire Rural Land Use Strategy. That planning proposal, which has been in the public arena for around five years, has been granted Gateway Approval from the Department of Planning. The proposal seeks a neighbourhood community title scheme around the existing private education buildings comprising 33 lots with a minimum size of 250m². Each lot could have only one dwelling and the bulk of the land would be in shared ownership.
The intention is more conventional governance – community title instead of the existing complicated trust and lease arrangement. The change would also provide flexibility with the existing buildings. Subject to development applications unitholders could be permitted to reside in their buildings. Currently these buildings are mostly only approved to house visitors for education purposes.
The planning proposal has been exhibited by Byron Shire Council. If approved it would be sent for gazettal, which means the community title would become lawful. After that a DA could be lodged for the 33 lot community title “subdivision” approval.