Sporties refusal is not new policy
According to the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Joint Regional Planning Panel's refusal of the Woy Woy Sporties development may sterilise development over half the Woy Woy CBD (Peninsula News, edition 452).
This claim needs to be examined.
The Chamber's claim relates to one of the 13 reasons for the Panel's decision, concerning the site's flood hazard.
The Panel's exact wording was that "the proposed development is not compatible with the tidal inundation and the flood hazard of the land and surrounding road system, having regard to access and evacuation, and particularly noting the sensitive nature of the proposed use, where assistance in evacuation may be important".
Quite rightly, higher safety standards are required for sensitive development types (aged care, seniors living, child care) than for other developments.
This is spelled out in the Brisbane Water Foreshore Floodplain Risk Management Plan 2015.
The Chamber of Commerce makes out that the Sporties decision changes everything.
But, is this new policy?
Back in 2006, a proposed child care centre nearby on North Burge Rd was refused by Council because "the site is subject to tidal inundation causing difficulties of access-egress for normal usage of the site".
What has changed since 2006 is that Council now allows for a sea-level rise of 74cm by the year 2100.
Sadly, sea-level rise is one of the central facts of our time.
The amount of 74cm is based on sea-level projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Central Coast Council to its credit is addressing the issue within its draft climate change policy.
Our Chamber of Commerce could take a leaf out of the book of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, whose chairman proposes a 40-year action plan for his city to reduce risks of damage from future floods, and sees huge opportunities for business.
Email, 5 Sep 2018
Ross McMurtrie, Woy Woy