Planning protection for flood prone coastal areas

Coastal
properties that are prone to future flood events and
climate change induced sea level rise will be covered by a new Land
Subject to Inundation Overlay.

Council has adopted Amendment C394GGEE and referred it to the Minister for
Planning for approval.

The
amendment includes planning scheme policy changes and applies the overlay to
1,600 properties around the Bellarine Peninsula and Corio Bay, based on the state policy of planning for a 0.8 metre sea level rise
by 2100 and a severe storm surge event. Many
properties are already covered by flood overlays and this one will help
reduce risks to public safety and damage to properties.

The areas that will be covered by the amendment, if it gains
ministerial approval, are parts of Geelong, Portarlington, Moolap, Newcomb,
Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Indented Head, St Leonards, Swan Bay, Barwon River
estuary, Avalon and Breamlea.

Point Lonsdale is excluded for now but will undergo further flood
modelling that considers The Point waterway system, which is still being
constructed.

The overlay means a planning permit would be needed for buildings
and works, but upper storey extensions and additions such as verandahs that are
less than 20 square metres are exempt.

Permit applications would be referred to the Corangamite Catchment
Management Authority, which would typically require floor levels to be set
above the predicted flood level with an allowance for sea level rise. This will
ensure the inside of dwellings are protected from flooding.

Council last year referred 43 public submissions, 39 of which were
objections, to an Independent Panel for consideration.

The panel reported in April that it supports the amendment and
praised council for its “forward
looking and proactive approach in preparing the amendment”. The panel found the
amendment is well founded and will benefit the community.

Councillor Stephanie Asher – Mayor

By acting on
the modelling available, this amendment will help protect residents, properties
and agriculture that are predicted to be affected by future sea level rises,
tides, storm surges and coastal processes.

Councillor Trent Sullivan – Chair, Planning portfolio

This amendment will cover 1,600 properties, including 1,244
residences, and put these areas in line with state government planning policy.
It won’t be a ‘set and forget’ amendment but will require updating over time
and as more scientific information comes to light.

Building an extra storey for an existing home or adding a deck or
verandah that’s less than 20 square metres won’t need a planning permit.

/Public Release. View in full here.