Rising sea level restrictions ‘ridiculous’


Rising sea level ┬árestrictions ‘ridiculous’


June 30, 2013, 11:14 p.m.

  • DENIED: Steve Turner's plan for his property at Belmont South has been hampered by the council's sea-level-rise measure. Picture: Peter StoopDENIED: Steve Turner’s plan for his property at Belmont South has been hampered by the council’s sea-level-rise measure. Picture: Peter Stoop

A BELMONT South resident says building restrictions placed on his property because of Lake Macquarie City Council’s concern about rising sea levels are ridiculous.

Steve Turner sought to build a dual-occupancy and two-lot subdivision on his Beach Street property.

“We wanted to make some money for our retirement,” he said.

The property is about 200 metres from the lake.

A waterfront reserve, the Pacific Highway and a couple of houses sit between it and the lake.

The plan was to knock down a shack on the site, build two houses, live in one and sell the other.

The council has consistently argued that it has a duty of care to consider sea-level rise in planning and development decisions.

A council document about Mr Turner’s plan, dated April 2013, said the site’s ground level was 1.24 metres above sea level.

“Council has a sea-level-rise policy, which applies to this property,” the council document said.

“The policy does not permit the construction of new dual occupancies on lots that are lower than two metres [above sea level]. The construction of a new single dwelling would still be permissible.”

Mr Turner could not afford to build only one house.

He will be among residents to attend a Lake Macquarie Ratepayers Action Group meeting on Wednesday at 7pm at Marks Point Bowling Club to discuss concerns about the council’s sea-level-rise measures.

Residents believe these are causing property prices to fall, despite the council’s denials.

Group spokeswoman Barbara Davis said residents’ concerns about sea-level-rise planning were being ignored.

Mrs Davis said the council had placed “damaging information on property planning certificates before any real opportunity to discuss how to manage predictions of future flooding and inundation”.

A council statement said there had been “no change in the number of properties with flood notations [which includes sea-level rise] since 2009”.

“Of the 9800 properties, there are 7700 properties in low-lying parts of the city that have had a flood-risk notation on their properties since 1997 [or before].”

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