TIO has spoken to Bluesfest promoter Peter Noble, who says he has owned the Bluesfest site since 2006 and has permanent approval to run events on the site.
“We have been very fortunate in being the first major festival to come Byron and we have developed real support on our community,” he told TIO. “We operate on high community input and that’s why our community awarded us with permanent approval to run events on the site.”
Tyagarah is currently best known as the home of the annual Byron Bay Bluesfest festival, but this could be under threat with news that the land is currently slated to be used for residential development.
As AFR point out, the land at 29 Buckleys Road currently has a rural zoning with a permit for 450 tourists – which is utilised annually for the festival.
The owner of the land, Michael Hunter, who owns a chemical group, is currently seeking approval from the NSW Department of Planning to zone the land for residential development, estimating a sale of $150 million, and a potential 350 new houses.
Hunter tells the AFR it’s time for the land to be put to better use.
“There hasn’t been a new development in Byron Bay since 1998. I have been at it for years, and finally we have interest from council. Being east of the Pacific Highway, it’s better to have an urban development than rural land, particularly now when we have a railway line and hospitals.”
Obviously if this happens, Bluesfest will have to move elsewhere.