New planning controls proposed for Short Term Rental Accommodation

Council is forging ahead with a ground-breaking planning proposal to reduce the negative impacts of short term rental accommodation on the Byron Shire community – and everyone is invited to have a say.

“We are the first Council in NSW with a proposal for amendments to our LEP to address the specific issues we experience as a result of short term rental accommodation in our shire, while adhering to the State framework,” Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson said.

“With the NSW Government moving towards completion of its draft State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) in early 2020 – which will define the rules for short term rental accommodation across the whole of NSW – now is the time for Council to act,” he said.

“Over summer, we have a small window of opportunity to present to our community our proposal for Byron-specific planning regulations as a pre-gateway determination engagement so that a report can go back to Council for confirmation to then be sent to the Department of Industry and Environment for a gateway determination in February 2020,” he said.

“We know it is a busy time of year but we are hoping the community can take the time to review the proposal and provide feedback via our online engagement platform at www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/holiday-letting.

“If it proves too hard in this hectic and family-focused time to provide feedback, there will be a second round of community consultation later in 2020, subject to government approval for Council to take our proposal further.

“We can’t wish this challenge away, nor can we just accept the uncontrolled growth of holiday letting,” he said.

“Ultimately, the aim of this work is to achieve a balance of regulation that allows for tourism accommodation opportunities while still preserving enough residential housing and managing adverse impacts on neighbourhoods,” Mayor Richardson said.

The Council report sets out a comprehensive list of intended outcomes to be achieved through an amendment to the LEP 2014 including:

  • Insertion of a new mapping overlay, know as the Short-Term Rental Accommodation Map, that will identify the maximum number of days for short term rental accommodation in different locations including:

o Zero (0) days for Council-owned and/or managed lands and lands identified in a state or local planning strategy for future residential development;

o 365 days per year in certain areas identified as suitable for tourism; and

o 90 days per calendar year in the remaining parts of the Shire.

  • A new enabling clause into Part 4 of LEP 2014 that will make the Short Term Rental Accommodation Map a development standard and maximum occupancy levels will be specified.
  • A new local clause under Part 6 of the LEP to set out the aims and objectives and matters to be considered when assessing a development application for short-term rental accommodation. This will include consideration of impacts on affordable housing, housing supply, environmental constraints and a range of other factors.
  • A new clause into Schedule 2 of Byron LEP 2014 that specifies when hosted and non-hosted short term rental accommodation is ‘exempt development’.

Definitions of what is meant by “non-hosted” short-term rental accommodation and “hosted” short-term rental accommodation. These are terms set out in the draft SEPP:

o Non-hosted short term accommodation means short term rental accommodation provided where the host does not reside on the premises during the provision of the accommodation.

o Hosted refers to the host residing on the premises during the provision of the accommodation.

  • Interaction and alignment with the State Government’s regulatory framework including the Code of Conduct, Fire Safety Standards and Strata laws which will all apply in the Byron Shire.
  • A proposal to create a Short Term Rental Accommodation Register on Council’s website.

Have your say online at www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/holiday-letting

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