Regulating whole-home holiday accomidation in Byron Bay – and what’s on the horizon for the rest of the State

Good news out of Byron Shire –  whole-home holiday letting will be regulated more stringently with the introduction of a lower exemption threshold (60 rather than 180 days per year exempt permissible use) for “non hosted short term rental accommodation” in some parts of the Shire. The changes are set to take effect from September next year.

As some of our readers may recall, earlier this year Shelter NSW made representations to the Independent Planning Commission (‘IPC’) on the Byron Shire’s attempts to regulate whole-home holiday letting to a lower day-cap exemption than that currently allowed by the Housing SEPP. Many of our recommendations were echoed in the IPC’s Final Advice Report to the Planning Minister. In particular, this included our calls for a lower cap to 60 days to be considered for whole-home holiday letting in line with average night occupancy data supplied by Murray Cox at InsideAirbnb.

Whilst we welcome the approval out of the Planning Minister’s office, we have some misgivings about the process and rhetoric that has surrounded the final decision of approval. We note that in a lot of the back-and-forth interaction with Byron Council, the Department of Planning was quite strict in withholding an approval until such time that Council could prove it would meet State-set private market housing supply targets to 2041.

Lastly, we note that the IPC’s Advice Report – in keeping with the terms of reference handed to them by the former Planning Minister Anthony Roberts – made recommendations on the policy settings for whole-home holiday letting generally in the state of NSW. We are aware that the Department of Planning intends to begin public consultation next month on reviewing the “STRA” provisions in the Housing SEPP. We will be pushing for a holistic review of the State Policy on “STRA” that incorporates the many sensible recommendations made by the IPC.
For any enquiries or questions on this topic, please contact Policy Officer, Kayla Clanchy (

For more information:

  • Shelter NSW submission to the Independent Planning Commission (‘IPC’): available here.
  • NSW Government-set private market housing supply targets to 2041 – news article available here.