Amendment C144 - Baw Baw Flood Mapping Update

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Community consultation on this Planning Scheme Amendment has been extended, and is now open until Thursday, 1 September 2022. 

Baw Baw Shire Council has prepared Amendment C144 to the Baw Baw Planning Scheme. The amendment proposes to update flood maps for the existing overlay controls - the Floodway Overlay and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay - throughout the municipality. The reviewed maps will reflect new flood information held by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Melbourne Water.

Community members are invited to view the proposed changes and provide feedback. You can read more about Amendment C144, use the online tool to view proposed overlays, and book consultation appointments using the information below.

Following the Council Meeting held on 27 July 2022, the exhibition period of C144 has been extended until 1 September 2022. An open community consultation session will also be held on 23 August 2022, see the 'What's involved in the consultation process?' tab below for more details regarding this event. 

What is Amendment C144 and why is it required?

Baw Baw Shire Council has a statutory duty to ensure flood risk and community safety in flood prone areas is appropriately managed.

It is a requirement of State Government Planning Policy and the Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy to ensure that flood prone land is mapped in the Baw Baw Planning Scheme.

This is done by applying planning controls known as ‘Overlays’ to areas identified as being at risk of flooding so that the risk is properly considered, and only appropriate development takes place in these areas.

This ensures that the community is aware of the best available flood information to make informed decisions about developing land prone to flooding.

Amendment C144 to the Baw Baw Planning Scheme proposes to update the maps for the existing Overlay controls – the Floodway Overlay (FO) and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) - throughout the municipality. The revised maps will reflect new flood information held by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Melbourne Water.

How do I find out if this affects my property?

The web map allows you to search for your property using your property address.

Using the online map tool, you can also view existing flood mapping extents and see how this compares to what is proposed through Amendment C144.

In some areas new mapping will be applied to land for the first time, in others there will be minor changes and in limited circumstances there will be a reduction in flood mapping.

What’s involved in the consultation process?

The consultation process is referred to as the exhibition period for Planning Scheme Amendments.

The exhibition period for C144 commenced on Thursday 10 March and originally ran for 2 months, to Friday 6 May 2022. Following the Council meeting held on Wednesday 27 July 2022, Council determined that the exhibition period be extended for a further four weeks, until 1 September 2022.

Planning legislation requires a minimum of one month Exhibition however, Amendment C144 has been exhibited for longer than this to ensure adequate engagement for such a large Amendment.

The Exhibition period has been extended until 5pm Thursday, 1 September 2022.  

During this time the community are invited to make a written submission to Amendment C144.  Written submissions can be sent via email to strategic.planning@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au or by post to Baw Baw Shire Council, PO Box 304, Warragul VIC 3820.

If you have already made a submission to the Amendment, these submissions are still acknowledged and recognised as part of the amendment process.

Community consultation session

Interested community members are welcome to attend an open community consultation session for Amendment C144. It will be held on Tuesday 23 August 2022, from 5:30pm -7pm at the West Gippsland Arts Centre – Fountain Room.

At the session, Council Officers will make a short presentation and there will an opportunity to ask questions. Registration for the session is optional, but not essential. If you would like to register, you’ll also have the opportunity of submitting questions you may have in advance of the session, please register here.

What is the difference between the Floodway Overlay and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay?

The Flood Overlay (FO) is applied to areas of mainstream flooding that convey active flood flows and/or store floodwater. These areas are referred to as a ‘floodway’, which may generally be defined as an active flow path that conveys the majority of flood waters and experiences higher velocities and depths compared with the rest of the floodplain. Floodway land incorporates hazardous areas where the potential for flood damage to people and/or properties is high.

Key considerations for land within the FO include whether the development will obstruct flood flows or increase flood risk.

The Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) is applied to areas that generally have a lower flood risk than FO areas. These areas are referred to as ‘land subject to inundation’, which may generally be defined as the estimated area that would be inundated in a 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood event (often referred to as a ‘1 in 100 year event’).

Land subject to inundation may provide some storage of flood waters and should be subject to planning control, given that inappropriate buildings and works may be damaged by floods or may aggravate the impact of floods. This means that a flood of this size or larger has a 1% chance of occurring in any one year. The 1% AEP flood is also known as a 100-year Average Recurrence Interval (ARI) event. This does not mean that, if an area has experienced a “one-in-one hundred flood” it won’t have another flood for the next 100 years.

Where did the revised mapping come from?

The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) and Melbourne Water are the floodplain authorities for the areas where Amendment C144 proposes changes to flood mapping. The mapping is based on numerous flood and drainage studies undertaken throughout the municipality to inform the overlays. 

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Will the overlays prohibit development on my property?

The FO and LSIO do not prohibit development, except for subdivision within the FO, which is only permitted under limited circumstances.

The provisions of the LSIO and FO require that particular buildings and works be considered through a planning permit application process and referred to Melbourne Water or WGCMA (relevant floodplain management authority). This ensures that new development is protected from flooding and does not cause any significant rise in flood levels or flow velocities, which may adversely affect other properties.

A planning permit may not be required where land is partly affected by the FO or LSIO and where development is proposed on higher ground that is free from flooding.

Amendment C144 only affects the LSIO and FO mapping and does not change the Planning Scheme Schedule which controls the planning permit requirements on LSIO and FO affected land.

What happens to existing development?

Landowners are not required to undertake changes to any existing buildings. However, any new development will be subject to the requirements of the proposed planning controls.

How will this affect my rates, property value and insurance premiums?

Previous Planning Panels appointed by the Minister for Planning have found that the application of Overlays does not have any significant or lasting effect on land values or insurance premiums.

Rates

Councils use property values as the basis of its rate collection. Planning Overlays are only one of many factors considered when valuing a property. Property inspections, building and planning permits, recent sales and leasing in an area are all considered and influence the value of a property.

Property Values

Research in Australia indicates that such policies do not have a noticeable effect on property values (floodvictoria.vic.gov.au). If your property has been identified as having a flood risk, the real flood risks on your property have not changed, it’s only that flood information is now more transparent through the planning scheme.

Insurance

The data being used for the flood mapping is already available and accessible for use by insurance companies to determine flood risk to properties when assessing insurance policy applications and determining premiums. It is recommended you contact your insurer directly to discuss any queries relating to coverage/premiums.

Amendment C144 does not create the flood risk but recognises an existing risk so landowners can make appropriate decisions about future development.

View the proposed mapping using the online tool

You can view the proposed mapping by clicking on the link below and searching for your property with the search bar.

Click here to view the online map

You can print off a copy of your property's overlay by doing the following:

  1. Prepare image on your screen as required
  2. Select the printer icon, top left of screen (see green banner)
  3. Select print
  4. Select any preferred options
  5. Select print

What happens next?

Following the conclusion of the extended public exhibition period, Council will consider all submissions to the Amendment and determine whether there is a need to appoint an independent Planning Panel to consider any unresolved issues.

At this stage, it is anticipated that this will occur during one of the September 2022 Council Meetings. If Council decides to appoint an independent Planning Panel, the Panel process is likely commence in late 2022.

All submitters will be kept informed on the next steps of the process as C144 progresses.

 

Contact us

For flood mapping queries, please contact the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority on 1300 094 262 or Melbourne Water on 131 772.

For information about the Amendment process and next steps, please contact Council's Strategic Planning Team on 5624 2873 or email strategic.planning@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au referencing Amendment C144.