Public meeting to contest Bega Valley Shire Council zoning classification

Bruce Lyon is calling on land owners to protect their land rights
Bruce Lyon is calling on land owners to protect their land rights

A prominent local land owner has accused Bega Valley Shire Council of a “land grab by stealth”.

Boydtown Pty Ltd managing director Bruce Lyon is calling on land owners to protect their land rights, accusing council of rezoning land with “inappropriate” environmental (E) zoning classifications without detailed negotiation.

A public meeting has been called for Wednesday, August 30 to demand compensation for zoning changes and a suspension on all E zones and rural landscape (RU2) zones until council has met with land owners to discuss changes.

“We respectfully advise that this is having a disastrous effect upon land owners and, in the majority of cases, is even stopping them building a dwelling on the properties,” Mr Lyon said.

“The council is not following the guidelines suggested by the Department of Planning, which includes carrying out detailed investigations on site to identify any threatened species or other environmental issues.

“(DOP) also supports the principle that council must meet with the owners of the lands prior to placing an E zone on their property similar to that requirement by the five councils in the Far North Coast of NSW.”

Mr Lyon is asking council to enact similar requirements in the Far South Coast.

It is not the first time Mr Lyon has taken on council after he asked councillors in July 2016 not to “sterilise” 160 hectares of his land around Boydtown, much of which had been recommended to be given E zoning.

Eden real estate agent Glenn Brunette has also been critical of council of late, saying E zones surrounding Eden would not allow for more dwellings.

“For Eden to grow to any capacity we need to have land releases,” he said last month.

“It’s the biggest restriction we’ve got, especially as Eden is surrounded by state forests and national parks.”

Speaking in Eden last month, Bega MP Andrew Constance said environmental constraints in relation to native vegetation were restricting development along the South Coast.

“I think ultimately if amendments are required to (local environmental plans) along the way then that’s where councils are best placed to come forward on behalf of local communities and work with the Department of Planning on that,” Mr Constance said.

The land owners meeting will be held at Club Sapphire, Merimbula from 6pm.