A potential heir to residue waterfront land at Wamberal Beach has come forward.
Harold Clarke Thompson died in 1939 leaving Wamberal beachfront land to seven heirs.
Council has been searching for Thompson’s descendents for years (see links to my previous stories below).
The minutes of the March 1 meeting of the Wamberal Beach Seawall Advisory Taskforce reveal the latest development.
“On 31 Dec 2022, Crown Lands received an email from a potential heir to the residue land (Harold Clarke Thompson) and is pursuing additional advice from the Crown Solicitors Office on this new information,” the minutes state.
“Once a clear pathway forward is known, Crown Lands
will be providing further information to Central Coast Council,” the minutes state.
But meanwhile Crown Lands had been progressing something alled a “Cancelled Folio” relating to the residue land and now is
awaiting legal advice and is liaising with Land Registry Services on the matter.
The ownership of the sliver of land between the mean high water mark and the seaward boundaries of the beachfront lots south of ‘The Ruins’ at Wamberal Beach are complicating potential works on a seawall.
The other big news to come out of the March 1 meeting was the announcement that it was the taskforce’s final meeting.
The minutes show that Chair Dr Phil Watson said that the recent finalisation of the Engineering Design Guidelines for the seawall, and consistent public statements from the new leadership team at Central Coast Council on the pathway forward, served to highlight renewed confidence in Council’s ability “to manage this issue now on their own terms and achieve the original objective outlined in their 2017 certified Coastal Zone Management Plan, without the original necessity of the Taskforce structure”.
“All members agreed that the Taskforce had provided the necessary structure and impetus to assist Council in progression of a much-needed solution to the long-standing coastal erosion risk along Wamberal Beach.
“It was unanimously agreed by members present that the necessity for a Taskforce was no longer required and that Council could adequately manage the issue moving forward with assistance from relevant government agencies in the normal course of business,” the minutes said.
The State Government established the Wamberal Seawall Advisory Taskforce on July 31, 2020, to provide Council – which at that stage was not under administration – with support to implement a sustainable long-term solution to the coastal erosion issues at Wamberal Beach.
Membership of the taskforce included Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch, Council’s CEO and a council project manager, and Dr Watson and other representatives from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Since then the Council under administration has:
1/ In June 2022, stated that responsibility for the design, construction and maintenance of any seawall fronting private property rested with the landowners that benefited from the proposed coastal protection works that each respective private property owner fully fund the work.
1/ adopted a Wamberal beach seawall engineering design requirements (EDR) in October 2022
2/ Administrator Rik Hart said the council could not afford ongoing sand nourishment of the beach and that councils right across the country needed to be recouped for costs for dealing with the impacts on coastal erosion.
3/ confirmed that Council would make provision in its long term financial plan to provide coastal protection works fronting Council-owned land at the beach access ways and Wamberal Surf Lifesaving Club.
4/ write to the relevant ministers suggesting the development of a NSW-wide approach to mass sand nourishment to support coastal councils to manage the impacts of coastal erosion and for additional support for coastal councils to address the increasing risk of coastal erosion.
See my previous stories here on the search for the heirs: