What are we shielding from view?
I refer to the article Coast Road’s scenic values threatened: mayor by Luis Feliu in Echonetdaily on November 13. This article highlighted the need for strategic planning to retain the scenic and environmental values of the Tweed Coast road corridor.
This need has arisen in the face of incremental, increasing pressure, as one by one, development approvals are granted that may meet the letter of the law, but none the less threaten the scenic, cultural and environmental values of the whole Tweed area.
Tweed Shire Council’s chief planner, Mr Vince Connell was reported as saying that ‘Historically, council has attempted to retain the existing vegetated setting along Tweed Coast Road, with the Casuarina and Salt developments originally being shielded from Tweed Coast Road with significant vegetation where possible.’
Shielding urban development, supermarkets, industrial development, service stations and the like from the view of passing motorists with vegetative screening is one consideration we can make in the quest to manage the unique natural environment of this area.
However, given the internationally recognised significance of this landscape, there are many more. For example, as described on the UNESCO website for this World Heritage listed area:
The Tweed Shield erosion caldera is possibly the best preserved erosion caldera in the world, notable for its size and age, for the presence of a prominent central mountain mass (Wollumbin/Mt Warning), and for the erosion of the caldera floor to basement rock. All three stages relating to the erosion of shield volcanoes (the planeze, residual and skeletal stages) are readily distinguishable. .
Appropriate development controls include not only ‘shielding’ things from view but also revealing what is wonderful to behold, without the main focus of interest being obscured by inappropriate foreground inclusions such as large signs and buildings that block the potential for people to appreciate the World Heritage significance of what is being seen and experienced.
Echonetdaily quoted Tweed mayor Katie Milne and deputy mayor Gary Bagnall as saying that the Coles supermarket up the road at Casuarina, had significantly impacted on the integrity of the Tweed Coast Road and surrounding landscape and there was no reason to further erode the scenic drive between Kingscliff and the southern villages of the Tweed Coast.
In doing so, they are responsibly applying the principles of the NSW government’s North Coast Regional Planning Strategy and Urban Design Guidelines.
Let us look more closely at these principles and what we are shielding from view.
Let us apply these principles in conjunction with the World Heritage significance of this area to build sustainable local communities, where incremental development leads to strategic, increased support for the underlying integrity, biodiversity and beauty of the local planetary life support systems, rather than depletion and pauperisation of them.
Coolamon Scenic Drive