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BCC Candidate Q5of8 - Temporary Flood Instrument

Submitted by webmaster on Sat, 31/03/2012 - 7:55pm

What restrictions will you consider to prevent exploitation of the BCC’s Temporary Local Planning Instrument by homeowners whose properties have not been flooded or even been close to flooding, even though they may be in a suburb where flooding occurred?



The TLPI was introduced to provide a way for flood affected residents to rebuild their homes and lives with confidence. The new building heights are now dependent on the actual 2011 flood level on individual properties. This allows habitable floor heights to be raised slightly above the flood level. This is a good measure as it will give greater confidence to homeowners during rebuilding. At this stage, I am not aware of any exploitation of the new rules, but would certainly refer any matters raised with me to Council's investigators to ensure the TLPI criteria are being respected and met.
I do not support the fill of right allowance under the TLPI and believe this aspect of the rules should be reviewed and removed.

I don’t believe anyone should be using the devastating floods of 2011 to benefit themselves. Development should only be subject to the TLPI if there is a genuine need for its application (i.e. there is sufficient risk to justify using the interim residential flood level). While it would be unjust to expect homeowners who have relied on a certain interpretation of the TLPI’s application to rectify the work, I would seek to crystallise the intent of the application provision as soon as possible to ensure no further misunderstandings or misappropriations.
As I said earlier, we intend to restore integrity to this area of Council’s planning processes to reduce the impact of flooding locally. That means sticking to the approved plan and not allowing developers to get away with circumventing it.

These issues need to be addressed at the first planning stage of a development application and investigated as to the validity of need to raise the property. I will work proactively with Residents groups and individuals to ascertain whether exploitation is occurring. Along with Lord Mayoral candidate Ray Smith, I’ll work to ensure integrity is returned to Council’s planning process so that developers must work within the local areas plans that have been prepared in consultation with residents.

Only homeowners who were in a flood affected area are eligible to be considered under the temporary local planning instrument. Any concerns about people breaching this measure designed to assist flood affected property owners should be reported.

It is the detail of the TLPI that is the issue, not the intent.  Allowing the habitable level of a dwelling to be raised to above the January 2011 flood level is a positive policy measure for the area.  The policy however is not restrictive enough and essentially allows anyone who had flood water across their land, to build upwards of 9.5m above ground level.  This leads to examples (as now seen in chelmer/graceville) where a property may have had 30mm of water inundating the land but is allowed to build upwards of 9.5m.  This is leading to incongruous residential development which impacts on the existing character of the urban fabric.  A flood occurs every so often. A visual impact on the character of an area occurs every single day.