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The Caldera Rim

by LouBear,

Thank you for this opportunity to contribute.

There are many vistas that are important in the area of scenic landscape value...I'm hoping others have already mentioned them...however one that is of major importance and could easily be overlooked is the integrity of the Caldera rim. This is especially so in the area of Terranora, Tomewin, Glengarrie, Piggabeeen and Carool...(the rim that is visible from the Murwillumbah Hospital, looking north-northeast).

This rim is important for the following reasons:

  • It provides a physical, visual and landscape character boundary between the Tweed Valley and the Gold Coast
  • It provides visual landscape character for the valley
  • it is highly vulnerable to degradation
  • Due to its visibility it is extremely sensitive as a landscape character feature and enclosing 'backdrop' for the valley
  • It is likely that it will become more vulnerable to development and housing pressures
  • the landscape integrity of the caldera rim, due to its beauty and importance in maintaing the landscape character of the whole of the valley, in itself has significant financial value as it helps define the Tweed as 'different' to the Gold Coast and signifies a different experience that the valley offers for tourism, especially eco-tourism

There is one large (white?) house on the escarpment now, with substantial tree clearing surrounding it, creating a 'bald' suburban-like patch on an otherwise relatively visually pristine escarpment line.

In Canberra, the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) made a planning decision that prohibited housing on top of escarpment/ridge lines. They did this to encourage the 'natural' feel of the area and to prevent the sense of suburban creep overpowering the region. It was very effective in protecting, maintaining and enhancing the natural landscape character of the area. The 'undisturbed' ridge lines provided a wonderful natural enclosure to the growing city. Housing was permitted below the visual ridge line catchment. Tree lines were protected and maintained, providing uninterrupted natural vistas.

At night, the glow of the lights from the Gold Coast is now increasing behind the escarpment in this location...hinting of the 'threat' of suburban creep. If the escarpment is broken and damaged by housing/development the natural value and visual integrity of 'the Tweed' will be threatened.

I realise the attraction of building houses on the ridge line, however guidelines regarding housing placement and tree preservation on the escarpment would prevent the escarpment becoming 'urbanised'. Once the escarpment tree line is 'broken' and damaged, the landscape character of the Tweed, which is becoming more valuable with the passing of time, will be permanently damaged. It would be difficult and expensive to reclaim the escarpment character if it is allowed to be spoiled. Continuity of the tree line is vital.

Visual landscape character catchments are so important to the quality of an area and the experience and wellbeing of residents and visitors alike.

Thank you for what you're doing in creating a scenic landscape strategy...it's so valuable for us and future generations.

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