Driveways turn lookout into a maze

John Low is upset the lookout named after his dad has been degraded by new driveways. Photo: Warren Lynam/180980c
John Low is upset the lookout named after his dad has been degraded by new driveways. Photo: Warren Lynam/180980c

Lows Lookout at Coolum offers some of the Sunshine Coast’s best views but it is fast becoming a maze of private driveways belonging to millionaire property owners.

John Low, the son of former Maroochy shire foreman Edward Low, whom the lookout is thought to be named after, is furious this land “grab” has been allowed to take place without any community consultation.

Mr Low said not only had the council allowed the driveways to be built, new unrestricted parking bays were also being used by the neighbouring property owners for their private purpose.

“The end result is these driveways and the (new) car parking arrangements at Lows Lookout has reduced public accessibility,” Mr Low said.

“I speak on behalf of a family of 50 who are just outraged these millionaires can make a grab on this roadway (to Lows Lookout) and this is supported by the planning and approval department of the council.

“There is a huge pressure on publicly-owned parks and reserves, and it is an absolute scandal these millionaires have been allowed to grab this land.”

Mr Low said the Coolum Progress Association named the lookout after his dad in recognition for the work he did on the roads around Coolum in the 1950s and 1960s.

“I looked through the old chronicles (and) on January 6, 1956 this was declared a reserve,” he said

“I drove up there last year and locals had been putting their driveways across this reserve.”

Mr Low said he had questioned the Planning and Approvals department who “defensively and quickly replied that this was only a road”.

He said council was “technically correct” in that Lows Lookout was part of a cul-de-sac, but that shouldn’t mean the public lost access to it to a few property owners.

“This very attractive green spot will look like noughts and crosses with driveways criss-crossed through it,” Mr Low said.

“What about public consultation? There has been no sensitivity to Coolum’s history and there is a duty of care for future generations.

“This is an iconic lookout, it is the only real high point between Caloundra and Noosa.”

A council spokesman said the matter was being investigated and the council was in constant communication with Mr Low, but explained the land was “classified as road reserve and created in the early 1960s but it is not a dedicated reserve”.

“It is too early to provide any definitive answers or opinions as to the future of this land,” she said.

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