About this project

The site known as ‘Lot 12’ on Bayshore Drive is a Council-owned 5.8 hectare block of land in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate. Council’s vision is for the space to become an innovation precinct; a place to learn, collaborate and connect.  A Precinct Plan was developed and endorsed by Council in June 2020, detailing high level aspirations for the site.

To bring the vision to fruition, Byron Shire Council planned to subdivide the site into three lots.

  • Lot 1 – to potentially be sold to and further developed, similar to the Habitat development to the north.
  • Lot 2 – will be retained by Council. A portion has been leased to TAFE for a Connected Learning Centre, and the remainder is yet to be developed.
  • Lot 3 – owned by Council and retained because of environmental values.

GeoLINK’s Civil, Environmental and Planning teams all contribute
Byron Shire Council engaged GeoLINK to assist with the development application (DA) for the three-lot subdivision which included an upgrade of the existing site access, construction of an additional access, public car park and associated road works.

Our input included undertaking a detailed traffic study, preliminary road design, stormwater modelling and management design, town planning, ecological assessments, and ongoing environmental monitoring.

GeoLINK’s involvement extended to the preparation of the following documents:

  • Civil design plans
  • Statement of Environmental Effects
  • Biodiversity Assessment
  • Site waste minimisation and management plan
  • Landscape plan.

Flexibility and comprehensive service delivery
This project required some innovative thinking and flexibility to address approval requirements as the project progressed. Beyond the original scope, GeoLINK was also engaged to address specific consent conditions.

  1. Stormwater and Acid Sulfate Soils
    Detailed design drawings were required for submission with a construction certificate application. The detailed design drawings included:
    • layout plans
    • design levels
    • typical sections
    • details of outlets and specifications
    • Preparation a maintenance plan for the bioretention basin
    • Preparation an Acid Sulfate Soils Management Plan
    • Update the existing Stormwater Report to include the updated design plans.
  1. Acid Frogs
    We prepared an Acid Frog Management Plan to minimise impacts to the threatened Wallum Froglet and Wallum Sedge Frog (collectively known as ‘acid frogs’), and their habitat resulting from the development. The plan includes:
    • a program of acid frog monitoring and water quality monitoring
    • measures to reduce the impacts on acid frog habitat during the construction phase
    • performance indicators and adaptive management strategies to ensure acid frog populations are conserved as well as contingency actions in the event that adverse impacts are detected
  1. Vegetation Management
    A Vegetation Management Plan was prepared with the aim of enhancing and supplementing the existing biodiversity values of the site and broader landscape. The plan includes:
    • prescriptions for initial works, planting, weeding and maintenance
    • specific targets and performance criteria for different vegetation management areas
    • protocols to minimise impacts to ecologically sensitive areas
    • an implementation schedule and monitoring program.

All approvals were granted, and the new TAFE NSW Connected Learning Centre facility opened in September 2023 and is the first permanent TAFE NSW presence in Byron Bay.

Innovative ideas bring change… and challenges
Byron Shire Council’s vision for Lot 12 is for an inclusive, healthy and environmentally conscious community. Part of the vision is for the site to be carbon neutral once fully occupied, setting a new benchmark in urban design and community place planning.

It is to become a place to learn, collaborate, create, change and connect. As an innovation hub, the site needs to demonstrate excellence in urban design, governance and delivery models.

With plans for a progressive development, also came some challenges. Our planners, engineers and ecologists worked closely with Council to ensure any future development is compliant with relevant standards and legislation and minimises impacts on the local environment, nearby residents, and the existing traffic network.

GeoLINK was able to help the client navigate the approval process and address the necessary areas in the development consent for a successful outcome. We continue to be involved in the project providing a Vegetation Management Plan for the site with ongoing monitoring over the next five years from 2023-2028.


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