Piecemeal development

I in no way want to defend the proposed developments on left bank  road but when someone quotes “Good principles of town planning  indicate …” to support small acre subdivision it has be responded  to.  Small acre subdivision both in practice and theory has been  possibly the most environmentally and socially destructive form of  land division in this country.  It inevitably is expensive and  therefore not affordable, so in the case of Byron Shire would only be  available to people coming from elsewhere, not those growing up here  or wanting to grow old here.  It alienates productive agricultural  land without the benefit of providing somewhere a larger density of  people can live.  In practice it is incredibly energy intensive, in
terms of lawn mowing, in terms of quantity of infrastructure required  per person.  It does not provide sufficient density to support  community social infrastructure.  It is the ultimate piecemeal  approach, as it normally has no integration between landowners.  It  generally works against not for environmental regeneration. The  increased fences create opportunity for further weed invasion because  of birds perching and shitting, therefore a need for greater energy  use to manage weeds.  What it does successfully, is create wealthy  garden suburbs where neighbours need never talk to or see each other  and community values are completely subsumed to private ones.  On the  plus side the occassional beautiful native garden is created, but for  every one of these there is 5 with massive areas of grass to be  mowed.  I don’t support typical small lot subdivision but it at least  supports greater affordability.  However there are other better  development models, just look at Sienna Court on Cemetery Road or the  development at the end of Keats Street in Byron Bay if you want to  see developments that demonstrate density as well better  environmental and social practice.

Malcolm Price

19/9/2009

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