Outrage over council's move to help 'preserve the view lines' in beachside suburb

Residents were furious after noticing 'beautiful' trees had been removed.

Residents in a popular beachside suburb have criticised the removal of bushy trees by council, with the reason believed to be because the water views were being "obstructed" for some.

Outraged locals vented their fury on social media after one furious resident shared a photo of the ripped-out trees believed to be woolly bush, a shrub native to Western Australia which grows up to 5 metres high.

The social media drama unfolded in a local community Facebook group after a woman posted a picture of cleared vegetation near stairs at Coogee Beach in Sydney's east.

"Apparently a flat owner complained that these beautiful big bushy trees were obstructing her view on the North end stairs at Coogee Beach. Therefore they were all destroyed. How can this happen?" the woman wrote in the post accompanying the photo.

Larch trees removed near stair case at Coogee beach.
Outraged locals have vented their fury at a council’s removal of bushy trees at Coogee Beach. Source: Facebook via NCA Newswire

Residents 'not impressed' by council decision

The species is commonly found on coastal sandhills and outcrops between Albany and Esperance on WA's south coast but can be grown in a range of conditions, according to WA’s Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority. It's not clear how long they'd been at Coogee for.

news of their removal infuriated many, some of whom claim a local artist is to blame for the decision. "A council worker told me this morning and he is not impressed. She is an artist and said it is affecting her painting view," one claimed. Another bemoaned losing the "beautiful" trees while having to "stare at stairs" which have now become more exposed.

Some however shut down these claims and said "it's do do with Coogee's history". "Nothing to do with a view or an artist wanting to paint," one woman wrote in response.

Council reveals reason trees were removed

Confirming the reason, Randwick City Council said the plants were simply being replaced with "lower-growing vegetation" to preserve the view lines from a nearby local artwork, known as the Impressionists’ Seat.

The Impressionists seat by Eileen Slarke in Dunningham Reserve, Coogee
The Impressionists seat by Eileen Slarke in Dunningham Reserve. Source: Instagram

The well-known Coogee artwork, designed by sculptor Eileen Slarke in 2009, depicts famous Australian impressionist artists Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder and Tom Roberts – all of whom painted famous landscapes of Coogee Beach in the late 1800s.

"The artwork is designed for people to take in the same scenic vistas as depicted in a number of impressionist artworks produced of Coogee Beach in the late 1800s," a council spokesman said.

Randwick City Council’s website states work is regularly undertaken on trees or vegetation planted on public land for reasons that can include pedestrian and vehicle safety, or for improving line of sight and clearing for buildings and new services.

"We do not prune trees within private property, but we may serve notice on property owners to prune or remove trees and other vegetation encroaching onto public land," the council’s website states.

with NCA Newswire

Love Australia's weird and wonderful environment? Get our new newsletter showcasing the week’s best stories.