Splendour and Falls may soon have a permanent home
A $42 MILLION development application to make North Byron Parklands a permanent home for Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival was today referred by the Department of Planning and Environment to the Independent Planning Commission for a final decision.
A spokesperson for the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) confirmed that "the department has made a comprehensive assessment of the application and the proposal has been referred to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) today for a final decision".
DP&E concluded in the report that with the proponent's proposed mitigation measures, "in addition to the department's recommended conditions, the site can continue operating with minimal impact upon the environment".
"The site will also continue to provide significant public benefits to surrounding and regional communities through increased employment opportunities and through attracting a variety of cultural events to the site."
"The department concludes the proposal is in the public interest and the applications are approvable, subject to conditions."
The document sent to IPC acknowledged concerns of the local community around the proposed development.
"The department acknowledges the long standing concerns of the local community about the trial events and potential impacts associated with the proposal on local amenity including traffic, noise and lack of infrastructure," the report states.
"Conversely, over 7000 submissions were received in support of the application because of the employment opportunities, support of music and arts industry and benefits to the local economy offered by the events."
Since 2013, the site has hosted two annual international music and arts festivals under a trial project approval: Splendour in the Grass (SITG) and the Falls Festival Byron Bay.
SITG is held exclusively at North Byron Parklands over three days in July, with a maximum capacity of 35,000 patrons.
Falls Festival is held at the site over three days between 31 December and 2 January, with a maximum capacity of 25,000 patrons.
The site caters for overnight camping at these events with approved capacity for up to 25,000 campers.
The venue is now seeking development consent for the ongoing use of the site for cultural, educational and outdoor events for up to 20 event days per year (consistent with the original project approval), which includes two large events a year (SITG and Falls Festival) over a maximum of five event days each, for up to 35,000 patrons per event day at SITG, increasing to 42,500 patrons and then 50,000 patrons, subject to meeting certain key performance indicators (KPI).
It also hopes to allow 35,000 patrons per event day at Falls Festival, and 30,000 camping patrons at these events, arriving the day before and departing the day after the event.
The proposal also includes three medium event days per year, which would run either on separate event days, or over three consecutive event days, with up to 25,000 patrons per event day, five small (5000 patrons) and two minor (1500 patrons) one-day community events.
The project also includes the construction and operation of additional site infrastructure to support outdoor events held at the site, including an event administration building, conference centre, event amenities, and on-site road and transport infrastructure.