Historic Byron beach shack to benefit from sandbagging
URGENT work is being done which will help save a historic Byron Bay beach cottage from destruction, both in a physical sense and behind the scenes as well.
White's Cottage, which is a former sand miner's shack which sits within Reflections holiday park at Clarkes Beach, is benefitting from work being done at the adjacent beach cafe to prevent it from further dune erosion and being claimed by the sea.
In the mean time, a woman who used to holiday at the cottage and who's late relative owned it, has offered to sell her house and put $100,000 into refurbishing it for use as a holiday spot for children with a disability.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is currently sandbagging the area in an effort to save the nearby cafe in work that began this week and will take up to three weeks to complete.
White's Cottage was slated for demolition on October 12 but has won at least a temporary reprieve and the sandbagging will also sure up its future.
In a statement Reflections confirmed the sandbagging being undertaken by the DPI will link up with the sandbags already in place in front of the Clarkes Beach Holiday Park.
"This measure will provide temporary protection of the Beach Café, holiday park and Whites Cottage," the statement says.
"Reflections continues to work with the relevant authorities around protective works of the coastline and is considering a number of options to protect against the ongoing effects of erosion which could have an impact on the future usage of Whites Cottage. The demolition is on hold while we explore these options.
"Our top priority remains the protection of the environment and safety of our guests, visitors to the area and community in the event of further coastal erosion."
Patricia Bryant, who spent idyllic days holidaying at the cottage as a child, is facing a "David and Goliath" battle to save the cottage from being torn down.
She has been lobbying various government agencies for several years to have the cottage refurbished and repurposed either as a museum or place to stay for disabled children.
Ms Bryant's great aunt, Elizabeth White, built the cottage and she wants to see it saved for future generations.
"I would be prepared to sell my current home to put $100,000 into bringing White's Cottage up to original adequate condition, with the attendant goal of using it for a meeting place, for co-operative non-profit endeavours, for groups to concerned about the environment, or indeed, holiday times for disadvantaged families," she said.
Reflections acknowledged Ms Bryant had expressed strong connections to the building, "Reflections is considering the future usage of White's Cottage which is dependent on the ability to secure its safety first," it stated.