The property is covered by a combination of special activities SP1 (in this case it is specified as “mixed use”), environmental and some rural zonings. Up until 28th February 2020 the land included some private education zoning. That zoning was replaced by a mixture of environmental and special activities zones with the gazettal of Byron LEP Amendment 17.

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.

Linnaeus did not apply for the mixed use zoning. We understand that it was allocated to the property upon a recommendation from the parliamentary draftsman and gazetted on 22 Sep 2017.

Under the Byron Local Environmental Plan 2014 all forms of tourist and visitor accommodation, including all of the below, are permissible under the SP1 zoning:

(a) Backpackers’ accommodation
(b) Bed and breakfast accommodation
(c) Farm stay accommodation
(d) Hotel or motel accommodation
(e) Serviced apartments
(f) Camping grounds
(g) Caravan parks
(h) Eco-tourist facilities

To meet the “mixed use” criteria the property must have two or more “uses”. We have chosen to pursue eco-tourist uses as well as continue with education uses. “Eco-tourist” uses are regulated by clause 5.13 of Byron Local Environmental Plan 2014. Under this clause, consent cannot be granted unless:

  • There is a demonstrated connection between the development and the ecological, environmental and cultural values of the site or area
  • The development is located, constructed, managed and maintained so as to minimise any impact on, and to conserve, the natural environment
  • The development will enhance an appreciation of the environmental and cultural values of the site or area
  • The development will promote positive environmental outcomes and any impact on watercourses, soil quality, heritage and native flora and fauna will be minimal
  • The site will be maintained ensure the continued protection of natural resources and enhancement of the natural environment
  • Waste generation during construction and operation will be avoided and that any waste will be appropriately removed
  • The development will be located to avoid visibility above ridgelines and against escarpments and from watercourses and that any visual intrusion will be minimised through the choice of design, colours, materials and landscaping with local native flora
  • Any infrastructure services to the site will be provided without significant modification to the environment
  • Any power and water to the site will, where possible, be provided through the use of passive heating and cooling, renewable energy sources and water efficient design
  • The development will not adversely affect the agricultural productivity of adjoining land
  • The development will minimise any impact on the natural environment with:
    • The maintenance (or regeneration where necessary) of habitats
    • Efficient and minimal energy and water use and waste output
    • Maintaining improvements on an on-going basis in accordance with relevant ISO 14000 standards relating to management and quality control