Byron Shire Council sought expressions of interest for partners in the development of Lot 12 Bayshore Drive in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.
Byron Shire Council sought expressions of interest for partners in the development of Lot 12 Bayshore Drive in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.

No TAFE site secured as council considers precinct vision

A POSSIBLE site for a proposed Byron Bay TAFE facility is yet to be secured by the organisation.

A TAFE NSW spokesman has said in a statement the organisation is "investigating a number of potential sites for the new Connected Learning Centre at Byron Bay, in line with usual planning processes".

This comes after concerns were aired at a Byron Shire Council meeting today regarding the future of a block of council-owned land on Bayshore Drive, known as Lot 12.

Byron Hay High School P & C secretary, Sarah Aldridge, addressed the council meeting and urged councillors to secure TAFE for the Bayshore Drive land.

This was on the basis of an understanding TAFE had also flagged an area at the high school as a potential location for its CLC.

The council had  sought expressions of interest for potential projects to meet the vision for this site, and was set to consider two proposals in confidential business at the meeting.

The council's staff recommended support for a proposal from The Creative Capital Company, which is associated with Brandon Saul, who is behind the adjacent Habitat precinct

The council has previously indicated support to have a TAFE CLC established at Lot 12 and Ms Aldridge urged councillors to secure this option, in a bid to prevent development the P & C does not support.

Ms Aldridge indicated the school had been told the facility "was going ahead" at that site.

But the TAFE NSW spokesman stressed no location was locked in.

"This exhaustive process considers all relevant site factors - and includes discussions with key local stakeholders - to ensure the site selection process identifies the optimal location to benefit local residents," he said.

"TAFE NSW is committed to making these new facilities available as soon as possible, however agreement has not yet been reached. Community consultation will play an important part in our plans once a site is identified.

"The new Byron Bay CLC will be the first permanent presence of TAFE NSW locally, and reflects the NSW Government's commitment to expand education and training opportunities in regional parts of the state."

A Department of Education spokeswoman said the school is aware of "preliminary discussions" and will be consulted on any plans and decisions.

"The Department of Education is aware of TAFE NSW's interest to locate a Connected Learning Centre at the Byron Bay High School site," she said.

"This is one of several options being considered by TAFE for locating the CLC in the Byron region, and at this stage the department has not consented to any arrangement with TAFE regarding the high school site.

"Preliminary discussions are underway between the department and TAFE in relation to the suitability and viability of the site, including maintaining provision of appropriate play space for the school students.

"Any proposal to build a CLC on the school site will have no impact on the school's sports field/facilities."