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Gold Coast Logan Branch review of GC city plan

The Gold Coast Logan Branch reviewed Gold Coast’s City Plan major update and made two submissions in mid-November.

The update was reviewed in detail with comments relating to flood mapping changes and small lot code flagged with council. You can read the submission in full here.

We have significant concerns relating to the flood mapping changes in the draft. There is little transparency and the lack of supporting and background information available has resulted in it being very difficult for professionals to review the assumptions that the modelling is based upon.

Flood mapping

 We noted that Council resolved to hold in reserve the mitigation benefits of Hinze Dam Stage 3 to preserve and improve the city’s flood resilience. This decision has significant flow on effects and is likely to increase household insurance premiums and flood exemptions to policies, unnecessarily in the shorter term.

It is also unclear which aspects of the flood model have been peer reviewed by hydraulic experts . Also a significant revision was made in November 2016 to Australian Rainfall and Runoff. It would appear that this update has not been considered, rendering the flood assumptions and modelling out of date.

The Institute is supportive of appropriately considering the changes and increases in flood level that may occur, with substantiation, during the life cycle of a development.

We requested that the following is made publicly available and a separate round of public notification is commenced relating to the flood mapping:

  • The methodology for the review and the brief of the peer review.
  • Supporting and background information which informed the assumptions and models
  • The basis for the 10% increase in rainfall intensity
  • The basis for the adoption of 50% total wave setup at the mouth of the Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks.
  • A statement which clearly indicates the future date the flood levels are likely to occur.

Small Lot Housing

The Institute is very supportive of measures to increase the diversity of housing across the region. We provided the comments below:

  • In some instances, the proposed changes are more restrictive than current provisions and there are instances where the codes are inconsistent. For example, the changes to setbacks or private open space, particularly where public open space is provided adjoining a small lot.
  • In the Reconfiguration of a lot Code, Part 9.4.8 (c) (ii), Council should not require Floor Plans for all lots less than 250m². There have been exemplary design outcomes produced on lots smaller than this. There is an unnecessary cost burden associated with producing these plans, early in a project.
  • Item AO13 of the Reconfiguration of a Lot Code change has no acceptable solution. The Institute suggests that a mix table could be provided.
  • Under Part 9.4.10 Small lot housing (infill focus) code, there are many provisions which should be removed, as they are usually contained within covenants drafted by developers and should not be included in Planning schemes.

We also made a range of other detailed comments that can be viewed in the full submission.

Thanks to the entire committee, especially Greg and Jason, for their work on these submissions to council.