Flood fears for new subdivision
SUBDIVISION of a 3.3ha block in Coffs Harbour’s Loaders Lane has stirred debate about development in flood-prone areas.
Large sections of Loaders Lane and cul-de-sacs off it were flooded in 2009.
The residential subdivision was approved by just four councillors after the Deputy Mayor Cr Denise Knight and Cr Rodney Degens voted against it at Thursday’s city council meeting.
There were only seven councillors present, as apologies were received from former mayor Cr Jenny Bonfield and Cr Mark Graham.
Cr Paul Templeton had declared a non-pecuniary conflict of interest and left the chamber before the item was debated.
The Mayor Keith Rhoades, former deputy mayor Bill Palmer, Cr Kerry Hines and Cr John Arkan voted in favour of approving the subdivision.
Loaders Lane resident Jan Holding addressed the councillors with concerns about water flow to and from the proposed subdivision and the design of the roads and cul-de-sacs within it.
Mrs Holding also suggested removing one block, Lot 14, from the 46 blocks proposed for the site, to provide less circuitous travelling for subdivision residents and to reduce traffic pressure on Loaders Lane.
Grahame Knight from De Groot and Benson, who addressed the council in response, said his company, the engineers and planners for developer Walsh Bay Pacific Pty Ltd had been involved in two previous developments proposed for the site in the last five years, both of which had been approved by the council and they had looked extensively at stormwater management, traffic and flooding.
The two previous proposals, for aged care accommodation which he said “were both significantly more intensive”, were both put forward by Catholic Healthcare, which chose not to proceed.
Mr Knight said part of the site would have 1.2m of fill, which would allow the houses in the subdivision to be above the nominal flood level; there would be adequate drainage and the subdivision should not cause a significant impact on flooding.
He said the design provided for water to flow into a large drainage reserve in the south eastern corner of the site.