The Splendour in the Grass  judgment handed down by the Land and Environment Court could have significant impacts for Byron Shire, the council says.

The Land Environment Court decided this week that the consent issued for the 2009 Splendour in the Grass Event at the Yelgun site was invalid.

According to Byron Shire Council’s director of planning Ray Darney, the Court found that the development application did not seek consent for access roads for agricultural usage or other permissible uses.

“The judge deemed that the development application did not seek consent to construct the roads for the purpose of agriculture or other permissible uses,” Mr Darney said.

“As the roads were an integral part of the development application, the Court reasoned the entire consent was invalid.

“This judgment could have significant implications for some landowners in the Shire.

“For example, if the Court’s logic is applied, a future application for a house in a rural zone which requires a driveway across a 7(k)(Habitat) or other environment zone would have to be refused.

“The judgment left the ‘door open’ for Splendour to lodge a separate application for stand-alone permissible development in the 7(k) zone such as roads or agriculture.

“The Court said Council is obliged to assess such an application on the basis of the information contained in the DA and principles of characterisation referred to in the judgment.

“This has the potential to encourage piece-meal applications when Council has historically tried to encourage complete applications which disclose to the Council and the community all aspects of development proposals.

“This is not as transparent as single complete applications and encourages multiple applications rather than comprehensive ones.

“This not only increases the number of applications Council has to assess, but can often lead to poor planning outcomes as well.”

The Court decision means that the Splendour application remains undetermined.

Mr Darney said the applicant has not yet provided Council with any indication as to what they intend to do with the application.

“The second reason the Court found the consent to be invalid was that Council had not properly considered how the development satisfied the 7(k) zone objectives,” he said.

“The judgment is an indication that Council will need to review the way it presents reasons in assessment reports.”