Signs of an eyesore
I could not agree more with Chris Bult of Soldiers Point (Examiner, Letters, March 29).
As a recent resident to the Port Stephens area I too have noticed the amount of billboards on Nelson Bay Road, especially the closer the driver gets to Nelson Bay.
The main area of concern is Nelson Bay Road between Marsh Road and Port Stephens Drive, this section is riddled with billboards in both directions nearly all of which are nothing more than an eyesore.
Why so many billboards?
Some of which are very unprofessional, some are out of date and a number are, in my opinion, down right ugly.
We are privileged to live in/on one of the most picturesque parts of the NSW coast but that particular section of Nelson Bay Road does nothing to prepare the visitor for the joys to the eye the Bay area can provide.
Perhaps, it is that laissez-faire attitude with Nelson Bay Road that has allowed the CBD of Nelson Bay to deteriorate to the sad state it is now in?
In another life I drove wedding cars in and around the Southern Highlands of NSW and Mr Bult is correct, the roads into the three major centres and all the small towns and villages in that area are a treat, very few billboards and that area’s beauty has been allowed to speak for itself.
So why can't Port Stephens be the same?
Let the natural attractions be the lure, not the billboards that advertise everything from hamburgers to the members draw at a hotel.
Who cares, visitors come to Port Stephens for the beaches, fishing, boating and beauty, trust me they will find all the other attractions.
And if they don't perhaps those attractions are not worth finding.
Ray Overson, Soldiers Point
From trees to urban jungle
I object vehemently to Port Stephen Council’s draft Exceptions to Development Standards Policy.
The proposal, it seems, would allow all current limits on building and development to be over-ridden without any reference to or consultation with the community.
It would allow high density, high-rise housing everywhere.
There would be no control of setbacks or overshadowing and current zonings could be changed on a whim.
It leaves open the possibility of the further alienation of community and operational land for sale and the transformation of tree covered areas into an urban jungle, all without the need for recourse, let alone accession, to what environmental standards the community of Port Stephens wants.
Without strict controls on development standards, we, the community, would be relying on the integrity of staff and councillors to continue to do what the community wants.
Cherylle Stone, Soldiers Point
No way to turn back tide
As a visitor from tarred, cemented and overcrowded Sydney, and a daughter of a low-rise Gold Coast developer circa 1960s, I felt my heart sink at the thought Port Stephens would contemplate 10-storey zoning.
This is the opposite of what attracts visitors to Nelson Bay. Not only will you soon find demands for higher storey buildings, but just like a tsunami no one will be be able to turn back the tide.
The scars will echo down the generations: pollution, congestion and another utopia destroyed.
What is the answer to the issue of occupancy?
Reconceptualise the area’s destination marketing, explore and expand transport opportunities, seek regional light industry development and invest in/support youth and business startups, tech-hubs, water sports, cycling, art, theatre, events and reach out to the world.