HOME and landowners in Creswick and Clunes may soon face hurdles or even refusals when applying to build or extend due to a flooding overlay to be applied to an extra 241 homes in the region.
While the shire has an existing Land Subject to Inundation Overlay, the North Central Catchment Management Authority has requested it be extended to larger areas in the two townships.
The overlay will apply to parts of Albert Street, Castlemaine Road, Cushing Avenue and Pearman Street in Creswick, with 163 properties affected, and parts of West Parade, Purcell Street and Fraser Street in Clunes, with 78 properties affected.
The move is the latest in a series of mitigation and prevention planning works following three flooding events in late 2010 and early 2011.
Creswick ward councillor Greg May said there would be “a lot of people in Creswick and Clunes that won’t be happy to be included under this overlay”, as it would mean new buildings or any extensions would need to be built at a higher level.
Fellow Creswick ward councillor Don Henderson said the overlay could create problems where properties could have been sold, but now developments were not permitted due to their obstructing flood water flows.
Planning Services Liaison Officer Justin Fiddes said the council was required to act as it had “corporate knowledge” of the flooding zones.
“If development occurs and we’ve got no control through the planning process to raise the height of the development to avoid flooding, we’re subject to lawsuits because we’re aware of the issue,” he said.
Coliban ward councillor Sebastian Klein said the council didn’t have a choice but to approve the amendment, remembering the “angst and ire” in the community following the floods.
Krackerjacks in Albert Street will be one building affected by the overlay amendment. Owner Rob Gervasoni said while he had no plans to sell or renovate, any changes could potentially impact his investment.
He said his takeaway business was flooded twice, with the first time taking them three months to reopen.
“Everything had to be rebuilt. That’s a lot of potential earnings you haven’t made and you’ve still got your ongoing liabilities,” he said.
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