Council’s investigative reports into the contamination of the Butler Street Reserve in Byron Bay have been submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for review and approval.
“We’ve had some positive news from the most recent report by Cavanbah Consulting, who found the site suitable for the proposed community use for open space, market place and car parking and we are now awaiting the EPA’s review of this so we can get advice on whether it is safe to proceed,” Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon said.
At their August meeting, Councillors will be considering a recommendation to send a proposal to the EPA for a staged approach to returning community use of the Reserve.
“Stage 1 would see a return of the weekly farmers markets to a small section of the Reserve on the existing grassed surface with no remediation or interventions in place and Stage 2 would see a return of as much of the Reserve as possible to community use for a mix of markets, parking and green space, factoring any constraints or exclusion zones required by the EPA,” Mayor Lyon said.
The timeframes on both these stages are unknown and will be based on feedback from the EPA, but by separating them, the intention is to fast track the return of the farmers market if at all possible,” he said.
“We understand there are some community members who would like to see the Community Market return to the Reserve now, but at 300 stalls and use of the whole site, this would only be a potential possibility at Stage 2 of the process and may inevitably be ruled out due to site constraints. Stage 2, if agreed to by the EPA, is a medium-to-long-term solution and in no way a possibility for the timeframes required for relocation of the Byron Community Market from the foreshore,” the Mayor said.
“We also understand and share the community’s frustration at the uncertainty around this site but would like to assure everyone that Council’s aim in terms of future development is to have the Reserve return to community use for a mix of green space, market place and car parking,” he said.
“We are working with the EPA to try and make that happen as soon as possible,” the Mayor said.