Peter Williamson shows off a 15 years ago panorama of the seascape from Beacon Hill which is obscured by trees these days.
Peter Williamson shows off a 15 years ago panorama of the seascape from Beacon Hill which is obscured by trees these days. Rob Wright

Where has the view gone?

IT'S the question everyone's asking, what has happened to Coffs Harbour's best view?

The Beacon Hill lookout once provided a 180 degree view of the Jetty, Muttonbird Island and all the way to Sawtell and even Smoky Cape but now the view is obscured by overgrown trees.

"It's just a wonderful asset that is completely going to waste," local resident Peter Williamson said.

"I mean, I loved the place so much I moved here. I just loved that you could see 180 degrees around."

Now the only view is of the trees and Mr Williamson said this needs to change.

"The council did such great work on Sawtell Main Street. Now they need to bite the bullet and make a decision about Beacon Hill," he said.

But the council is battling red tape that does not allow them to make any changes.

"There was a plan of management adopted in 2000 for rehabilitating the hill," Coffs Harbour City Council Engineering Services Manager Gweorge Stulle said.

"I don't think the people who put that plan in place would have predicted that the vegetation would cause such issues, or that we wouldn't be able to do anything about it now because of changes to legislation."

Earlier this month, following orders from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) some of the trees were lopped but it was not enough to improve the view.

Mr Stulle also said that any more trimming of vegetation would only be to improve safety.

"It would be counter-productive for us to say that what we are doing is for the view," Mr Stulle said.

"It will be for CASA, and if the view is made better, that will just be a nice side effect."

What do you think? Should the vegetation on Beacon Hill be managed to improve the view? Leave a comment below.



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