Anger as trees butchered in Coast street
Established trees in a suburban Coast street have been reduced to an "eyesore" after they were cut to clear shade from solar panels.
The Daily understands the four paperbark trees, located on the nature strip along Jones Parade in Coolum Beach, were recently cut off roughly halfway up their trunks after a nearby property owner installed solar panels.
Scott Janes, who grew up in his family home across from the trees, said they had to be more than 20 years old.
"They were older than me," he said.
"There was no point to ripping them down, it looked nicer."
Mr Janes said they were the last of many paperbark trees that used to inhabit the street.
"The trees have been there before the house was built and the two houses next door used to be empty blocks with a whole bunch of paper barks," he said.
"They were the remaining ones."
Resident Lauren Palmer said she was shocked when she walked out to see the butchered trees.
"I just can't believe how terrible it looks … it's a bit of an eyesore," she said.
"I was busy doing work out the back when it happened, and I walked out, and they were gone.
"Every time I drive up here, I think 'oh it's so terrible'."
A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said the council was investigating reports of vegetation damage on the street's nature strip.
They said if found to be significant damage those responsible could cop a hefty fine.
"Where a permit is not in place and vegetation damage occurs, council will assess the impact of the damage and those found to be responsible may be prosecuted in a Magistrates Court," she said.
"The maximum penalty that could be imposed by the Magistrates Court for damaging vegetation is $113,432.50."
The spokeswoman said residents could apply for a permit from the council if they wished to remove trees on the nature strip.