STAYING LOW: Byron Bay council says their coastal town benefits from having special rules on building heights.
STAYING LOW: Byron Bay council says their coastal town benefits from having special rules on building heights. David Nielsen

BARGARA HIGH-RISE: Why Byron and Noosa back lower buildings

OPPONENTS of a nine-storey high-rise proposed for Bargara's foreshore say coastal towns such as Byron Bay and Noosa are using lower building heights to their advantage.

Speaking exclusively to the NewsMail, Byron Bay and Noosa councils explained why they stick to strict building heights.

"Generally, the maximum height of buildings in the Byron Shire is nine metres,” said a spokeswoman for Byron Shire Council.

Generally, one storey is around four metres high.

"In some select areas, for example, the Byron Town Centre, the maximum height of buildings has been increased to 11.5 metres,” the spokeswoman said.

"Overall, these caps exist to maintain the character of the Byron Shire.”

The spokeswoman said the community did not want tall buildings.

MAPPING IT OUT: Byron Bay's town plan marks the height limits of buildings.
MAPPING IT OUT: Byron Bay's town plan marks the height limits of buildings. Contributed

"High-rise buildings do not fall within this character, and the standards that have been adopted are a reflection of public interest,” she said.

Noosa Council development assessment manager Kerri Coyle said their focus was also on maintaining a natural atmosphere.

"Building height restrictions help to keep Noosa's built environment from dominating the natural environment,” she said.

"Eight-metre height restrictions apply in most parts of Noosa, which allows for buildings of up to two storeys high.

"In some areas, such as Hastings St at Noosa Heads, Noosa's planning scheme allows for buildings of up to four storeys tall.”

Ms Coyle said new developments were expected to fall into line.

"In addition to height restrictions, the Noosa Plan ensures that new developments respect the scale of surrounding buildings and vegetation as well as the densely-vegetated appearance of Noosa's skyline,” she said.

The Bargara mixed-use high-rise, proposed for the intersection of Burkitt St and the Esplanade, will be debated in today's council briefing meeting before a vote is held on the code assessable development application next Tuesday.

Supporters of the high-rise say it will bring jobs and progress to the region, while opponents say it will damage Bargara's atmosphere and threaten the region's turtle population.



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