A better than expected outcome for regulating STRA in Byron Shire!

Shelter NSW is pleased to advise that recently, the Independent Planning Commission handed down its advice to the Planning Minister on how Byron Shire should proceed in its Planning Proposal to more stringently regulate whole-home holiday accommodation. Shelter NSW thanks the IPC for their level-headed and evidence-informed approach to this issue.

We can see that the IPC has taken on board several of the recommendations in our post-Hearing written submission, most notably:

  • The Planning Proposal should implement an even lower, Shire-wide day cap exemption than that put forward by Byron Council (ie instead of lowering from 180 days non-hosted exempt per year to 90 days in some suburbs, IPC recommends a uniform cap of 60 days per calendar year exemption for non-hosted holiday accommodation).
  • To operate for more than 60 days per year, non-hosted holiday accommodation providers will need to seek DA change of use consent to ‘tourist and visitor accommodation’, at which point Council may or may not permit such changes of use depending on “social and economic impacts… and current availability of long-term rental properties in the surrounding area” (p. iii of Advice Report).
  • Better data collection, sharing, transparency, and fiscal resources being allocated to local Councils to enforce the STRA Register.

The IPC Report has had a ripple effect across many other local Councils who have been eagerly waiting to see how Byron’s Planning Proposal will stack up against the State-default cap in the Housing SEPP. Check out our quotes in this article by the Sydney Morning Herald, where we lay out our hopes for Councils that have been steamrolled by whole-home holiday conversions, particularly during the COVID domestic tourism boom, to feel emboldened to seek a better regulatory framework for their own residents’ housing needs.

We call upon the new Planning Minister, The Hon. Paul Scully, to heed the IPC’s recommendations and work with Byron Shire Council – and any other local Councils – to achieve a better housing outcome than what is presently allowed under State planning legislation.

If any of our members wish to know more about this topic, please email Policy Officer, Kayla Clanchy, at kayla@shelternsw.org.au.