Village needs a balance of bush and risk management
Pearl Beach Environment Group claims planning provisions are ignored (Peninsula News 529) and is seeking a meeting with Central Coast Council Administrator Mr Rik Hart.
Their concern is maintaining the "tree canopy for the village".
Hopefully Mr Hart will know that the village has several groups of volunteers focused on looking after the nature attributes of the village: the Arboretum team, bush care, dune care and the Progress Association which with the aid of the Council have achieved great results and a beautiful environment.
The writer has been a resident for 35 years and is a bush lover.
If one scans back to aerial photos of Pearl Beach from current to say 30 years ago, the increased tree canopy enveloping the village is clear to see.
In fact if Ausgrid didn't trim trees on the roadside to protect power cables, today the roads would not be visible from the air, like many of the homes.
For years Pearl Beach was a village of beach cottages and tiny fibro shacks plus two or three small farms.
Overtime these have naturally been upgraded to more suitable modern homes, which naturally cover a larger area of the site - but not excessively - so some trees have to be removed.
Potential bush fire risks can be seen in the aerial photos of the National Park, Council and Arboretum areas and the viilage itself, which has a single road access.
Crown fires or ground level fires present a massive challenge to the village and more with the increased bush coverage.
Then add global warming.
There has to be sensible limits for bush coverage in residential areas.
Trees and plants in close proximity to dwellings rain leaf litter onto roofs.
Does this environment group consider safety issues?
The Council require one to obtain a permit to remove a tree on your own property, but you can plant trees without one.
How sensible is that, in terms of a safety zone?
Trees are regularly planted on streetscapes by locals, on the edge of intersections and tight corners, impairing driver visibility.
Planted in the path of pedestrians, they push them onto the road way.
They can also interfere with services, when planted under power lines and over underground service connections.
Let's stay with sensibility, safety and balance and focus more on the issues of village safety and preparedness for climatic challenges.
The village requires a sensible balance of natural bush and nature with a strong reality of risk management and accompanying limits.
Email, 15 Oct 2021
Vic Brown, Pearl Beach