Byron Bay Bunkhouse and English Language School

 Additions & Alterations to
Existing Hostel & English Language School

Proposal Description

It is proposed to modify the internal layout of the area of the existing building currently operating as a hostel for backpackers (unit 7 in SP 5791) to create 12 additional classrooms on level 1. The existing dormitory spaces will be modified by moving the internal stud walls (as shown on proposed floor plans) to create the required classroom sizes.

Part of the building as shown on the floor plan attached will also be dedicated as an administration area.

The existing hostel kitchen will be used as the student kitchen and the existing cleaner’s room will also stay in the same location.

There will be minimal changes to the external appearance of the existing building in stage 1 (i.e. unit 7) required other than the construction of a new timber deck (area = 26m2 approved, DA 10.2003.291.2) and alteration to some of the windows and doors to create additional egress points or increase natural light and ventilation to some of the classrooms.

On the eastern side of the first floor level it is proposed to extend the building to create 11 double rooms each being 4.8m x 2.4m and 7 single rooms each being 2.4m x 2.7m to accommodate 29 students.  Also proposed are 2 new classrooms of approximately 37.5m2 and 67.2m2 to be located on the southern side of the first floor extensions for 45 students.  The extensions will be joined to the existing building via a new verandah which will allow the new student accommodation wing to directly access the classrooms within the existing unit 7.

The new classrooms on the level 1 extension will be designated for dual purpose i.e. used for student accommodation for those periods when the availability of home stays is limited and students are required to stay on the premises. Then at other times these same rooms will be used as classrooms. Due to the lack of affordable housing in Byron Bay the flexibility to use these areas as student accommodation and classrooms is necessary to ensure students can be accommodated during peak tourist periods, etc.

Level 2 of the proposed extensions will comprise 15 double rooms each approximately 4.8m x 2.4m which will accommodate 30 students. There will also be 15 single rooms each 2.4m x 2.7m for 15 students (45 total beds).

It is proposed to undertake this development in 2 stages to enable the school to continue to operate whilst the additions and alterations are being undertaken. Stage 1 will involve the new additions on the eastern side (i.e. 3 Carlyle Street side) and Stage 2 of this proposed development will involve the construction of the new level 2 on the existing building. On level 2 of the existing building there will be 14 twin bed rooms and 8 single rooms and 1 summer bunk room (dormitory) to accommodate 8 students (44 total beds)

The ground floor part of the building will continue to operate as per the existing approvals, i.e. as an English Language School in accordance with the DA approved in 2001, however, the approved cafe in unit 2 will expand from 58m2 to 133m2to allow for an outdoor dining area. A proposed table layout is included in the ground floor plans. It is the intention of this application to modify the public hours of operation of the cafe to 5pm to 12pm from Monday to Friday and 7am to 12pm (Sunday and Saturday). This is to enable the cafe area to be used as a student cafeteria during the weekdays (i.e. between the hours of 7am till 5 pm Monday to Friday). The AEF facility parking and ET credits would be available to allow the cafe to open for the public of a weekend. By restricting the hours of operation of the cafe during the day the associated parking and ET credits will be used by the AEF to increase the student numbers.

The existing 2 bedroom managers residence will be used for staff rooms, lounge and facilities, the downstairs disabled toilet, shower and dormitory (existing room No 1) will also be used a classroom.