Byron Council is to take action against owners of prime beachfront properties in Alcorn Street, Suffolk Park, who have extended their backyards into the coastal reserve.

The council’s Director of Planning, Development and Environment Services, Ray Darney, said the boundary of the beach reserve would soon be surveyed to confirm the extent of illegal encroachments.

“Council is concerned about these encroachments, known as creeping backyards,” he said.

“The extension of backyards into the reserve has caused serious degradation of the coastal foreshore and its associated ecosystems.

“The extent of creeping backyards in this area is so entrenched that some landholders have erected signs on the dune stating that the access trails and cleared areas are private property.”

Mr Darney said council officers had reported the reserve had suffered from illegal removal of native vegetation, the creation of unapproved beach access tracks and viewing platforms, dumping of garden waste and old tyres, planting of exotic species and landscaping with pavers and bricks.

He said that when the survey was completed, the council would carry out compliance action to enforce removal of all encroachments so that restoration and regeneration works could be implemented.

“We have written to landholders in the past about their encroachment issues and will do so again,” he said.
 “However, previous efforts to get voluntary compliance from landholders has not been particularly successful.”