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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Did Belongil road fall into sea?

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I am a loyal reader of The Echo since moving to the area a little over 12 months ago. My wife grew up in Byron and lived at Belongil Beach where we still own a family home.

The articles related to the Belongil beach works debates are always of interest to me. However, the one thing I constantly hear and want to understand clearly is this rumour of a so-called Esplanade Road that washed away after a great storm many years ago. Cr Rose Wanchap again referenced this in her letter in the Byron Shire Echo this week.

We have the originial land grant (Certificate of Title) that was supplied to Reginald John Henry Beaumont in 1887. There is something in front of our family home noted as ‘The Esplanade’, however that is just Spanish for the beach. I am happy to show this document to anyone for reference that no road existed in front of the first home on the Belongil and there still is not. It is merely the indication of the beach.

If there was an Esplanade, it was either much further down the spit (not likely) or was in front of the town beach (not likely). Yes, there are car parts all over the beach at extreme low tide and low sand times along the Belongil, but that was due to dumping, not a cyclone that left them there after a road was destroyed.

Can you kindly assist me in setting this rumour straight or helping me understand where the so-called Esplanade Road really was located?

I ask this since it is very crucial to help people know that the Belongil has not changed much in 100+ years. There was a study done before the rock jetty was placed near town beach. It was noted at that time by the core of engineers that the Belongil would suffer sand loss with such a structure unnaturally being placed before the caravan park. At the time council chose to do the works as the meat works and other non-vocal homeowners existed at the Belongil at the time. Now the battle continues years later and the evidence is proving true. Council’s choice to save the caravan park and unnaturally alter the ocean’s will has created an ongoing debate about the Belongil.

It is time the council admits their fault of the past and lets us homeowners successfully use rocks to shore up what should have never been lost.

Bill Hayes, Byron Bay


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1 COMMENT

  1. I would suggest checking the Facebook site “Know What I Miss About Byron Bay”. It has around 1000 members that have lived in Byron Bay since the early 1900s to the late 1990s.I have lived here since 1964 and watched the houses falling into the sea around 1973.My father has lived here since 1939 so I will ask him about the Esplanade ,but I do know that you could drive from the sea side of the pool down to the Belongil along the dunal area.My father spoke of having to drive past Beaumonts guest house across some sand dunes to park close to the beach.I have an aerial shot showing at least two dunal systems in front of Beaumonts.

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