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There are three main steps in creating a town planning doucment such as the Byron Bay Master Plan presented on this website. We first look at the existing situation and its many components such as nature, topography and geography of place, the built environment, land use, movement and circulation patterns to, from and within the area, land  ownership, services, infrastructure, energy lines and  significant sites, all as  constraints which will affect any planning of the town. These can have  positive or negative influence and can all be summarised in constraints analysis.

The next step is to look at  alternative concepts for  the total town with details  of focal areas within the  central concept.  Many concepts  should be considered with  involvement of the  whole community and different  interest groups contributing ideas for their town.

These concepts are then assessed by  listing pros and cons for each scheme and how they incorporate the  existing constraints, from a priority list  which will give the optimum outcome specifically for Byron. From these concepts a short list is then used to establish a preferred strategy.

The third step is to use this strategy as the basis  for the recommended Master Plan, explain the components of this plan and  how they mesh  together to  provide the optimum  result. These include  water, energy,  waste, infrastructure, circulation, landscaping and many  others, with details of each  component and  how this can be achieved.

The  adopted Master Plan is then used to  implement all  components on a staged basis for the future growth and enjoyment of the Town Centre.

This  general methodology is  summarised as  follows:-

Prepare base maps - general overall context 

- area  details


  • Land use  including public amenities and  community facilities
  • Zoning current and proposed
  • Property ownership
  • Building profiles including private open space
  • Age and  condition of buildings
  • Circulation - vehicular
        • public/tourist
        • private
        • - service access
      • - pedestrians and mobility
      • - bîkeways
      • - car parking
    • Open space  and landscaping  and biodiversity
    • Townscape - internal/external vistas and  connections
    • Engineering infrastructure services
      • Stormwater drainage
        • underground, 
        • surface
      • Sewer and treatment
      • Electricity - overhead and solar PV input- surface/underground
      • Gas
      • Phone and co-axial and broadband and WiFi
      • Water
        • supply general 
        • fire and hydrants
  • Constraints analysis and Diagrams.


Concept Strategies - central open space

    • linear
    • centralised
    • civic square
    • cultural/spiritual focus
    • sacred geometry
    • urban forest
    • community inclusion and consensus
    • people place and creativity
    • nature place and environment
    • sense of arrival
    • connection and focus
    • meeting place
    • activities/happenings
    • active
      •  market
      • ceremonies/healing
      • music/drumming
      • forum
      • civic functions
    • passive
      •  sitting
      • -café
      • observing/watching
      • relaxing/enjoying
  • Concept Vision
    • Analysis and Assessment and Priorities
    • Spiritual
    • Ethical
    • Sustainable
    • Environmental
    • Social
    • Economic
    • Political


  • Master Plans
    • Open space and landscaping
    • Land use and potential
    • Circulation and traffic
    • Public facilities
    • Engineering services
    • Concept and activity sketches
    • Energy management plan
    • Water management plan
    • Waste management plan


    • Community
    • Commercial
    • Government

The limited resources available for this study unfortunately do not allow for a detailed compilation and site truthing of all the survey and background input which is generally provided by specialist consultants.

I gratefully acknowledge the assistance given by Byron Shire Council in making survey information available which has allowed the preparation of base maps used for these concepts which establish the overall master plan for the Town Centre.

It is suggested that in assessing the concepts that generate a Master Plan that a weighting be given from the highest value given to ltem 1to the lowest value to ltem 7 to reflect the intrinsic values of the Byron community.

The basis for assessment of each item is suggested as follows:-


lf it is not spiritual it is not Byron.

Does the concept support the spirit and healing of the land, the water and the people


It does not take advantage of others or damage a person's health or wellbeing or harm the environment.


To be self-supporting or renewable and does not deplete available local resources


To support the biodiversity of the natural environment and contribute to the security of nature.


To respect the local community, encourage social interaction and support peoples involvement and aspirations.


Economy is more than money and turnover. lt is the efficient, not wasteful, use of resources

with a direct flow of benefit to the local economy.


To be decided locally with initial input starting at grass roots level and feeding into the system from ground up, not by outside interests.