THE majority of Crowdy Head residents are proud to live in what the NSW government describes as a "coastal hamlet".
Once commonplace, such hamlets are now few and far between.
Seal Rocks, south of Forster, is another that springs to mind, and some of us remember the ding dong battles that took place there in the 70s and 80s when residents bitterly opposed commercialism because they wanted to protect their little bit of heaven.
Fighting to keep the place as it had been for five or six generations, the residents first opposed Great Lakes Council’s attempts to tar the final stretch of the dirt (and only) road leading in and out of the hamlet.
Most people will have driven over the sign painted several decades ago on the bitumen at the entrance to the village - ‘Save Seal Rocks, the Last Frontier’.
It’s been re-painted many times over the years.
In 1984 the council approved a new caravan park on the village’s headland, but the residents took council to court - and won.
Fast forward to 2012, and the Save Seal Rocks movement ramped up again to oppose yet another council plan, to develop and further commercialise the existing, somewhat laid-back beachfront caravan park and camping area.
Within the space of just days, 12,000 people took to Facebook to register their objection to council’s plan.
The council insists its proposal will complement the area and assist in increasing revenue to maintain the park.
Similar could be said for any development proposed for Crowdy Harbour’s foreshore - a lease of the harbourfront land could help the coffers of the state government as it struggles to maintain and provide public facilities within the surrounding Harrington Beach State Park.
The NSW government has categorised a handful of ‘coastal hamlets’ within its coastal design guidelines, and among them are Crowdy Head and Seal Rocks, as well as Angourie, Sandon River, Merry Beach, Pretty Beach and South Durras.
“New development is within the settlement boundaries and the scale and architectural character of new buildings allows the setting to predominate,” the guideline says.
Crowdy Head residents concerned for the amenity of their area should closely study these guidelines as they continue their involvement with the future of their foreshore.
Not just the harbour foreshore, but the entire stretch of public use waterfront from Crowdy Head Surf Club to the harbour is crying out for a sensitive beautification project, to enhance its unique ‘coastal hamlet’ status for the enjoyment of not just residents, but the wider community.