Turning opposition into collaboration
Lake Macquarie City Council received the highest planning accolade last night, with its pioneering approach to managing future sea level rise recognised with a 2017 PIA National Awards for Planning Excellence.
Council’s Manager Integrated Planning, Sharon Pope said the award-winning process saw Council collaborate with local residents over three years to produce a long-term strategy and 10-year Action Plan to help manage the effects of future sea level rise on their communities.
“We are now working alongside local residents and key stakeholders to implement the adaptation plan. Council recently passed changes to development controls, including building heights, filling and adaptable housing,” Ms Pope said.
“We also completed foreshore protection works in Village Bay Close that allowed for future lake level rises, and have completed a model of the drainage system in the area, so we can assess what would occur if we alter drains or fill land in different locations.”
The Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan is a leading model for climate change adaptation and is included as one of several ‘best practice’ case studies in the Federal Government’s online coastal planning guide, CoastAdapt.
“The plan allows people to live in and enjoy these areas, even as sea and lake levels continue to rise. Council is currently working with residents of Pelican and Blacksmiths to develop a similar plan, and over the coming years Council will continue to develop plans to help manage sea level rise in all low-lying lakeside communities of Lake Macquarie City.”