Flooding in Coffs in 1953. We have a long history of flooding and this letter writer fears we are not planning for it in the region’s 2020 - 2040 growth management strategy.
Flooding in Coffs in 1953. We have a long history of flooding and this letter writer fears we are not planning for it in the region’s 2020 - 2040 growth management strategy.

Poor planning could lead to flooding at hospital

This letter writer says the residential development of the Coffs Harbour Region has now reached a critical situation.

He is also concerned about the potential for flooding in the area of the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

We are at a critical stage

This letter refers to the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy 2020 - Coffs Harbour 2040 and beyond.

The strategy was conditionally approved in December 2020 and may change subject to later submissions.

The residential development of the Coffs Harbour Region has now reached a critical situation. Existing residential development of Coffs Harbour has been constrained by topography which includes proximity to the eastern edge of the Great Dividing Range.

Existing residential development may also have been constrained by a lack of appropriate engineering input in the past.

The currently proposed new concept of "compact city" appears to be appropriate for all areas proposed, with the exception of those areas within the catchments of Newports and Coffs Creeks.

Coffs Harbour Health Campus hospital upgrade artist impression.
Coffs Harbour Health Campus hospital upgrade artist impression.

This is due to the fact that the proposed new concept is designed to increase the density of population in the catchments of Newports Creek and Coffs Creek. Such increased density of population will, necessarily, result in an increased proportion of sealed areas, and such increase will, inevitably, result in greater run-off and greater flood flows in the catchment areas of the relevant creeks.

In addition, proposed development to the west of the bypass in North Boambee Valley will result in increased flood flows in Newports Creek. Such increased flood flows will almost certainly result in greater flood flows in the area of the Coffs Harbour Hospital.

The issue of future flooding is not mentioned in the strategy. As this problem is not addressed, no mention of possible solutions to the problem are made in the above strategy.

Obviously, proper management of such drainage/creek catchments requires the adoption of specific management strategies. An increase in flood frequencies and flows due to changing climatic conditions should also be addressed.

It is strongly suggested that consideration be given to revising the plans for the provision of appropriate residential land for the future development of Coffs Harbour.

Unfortunately, consideration of the matters raised in this letter, appear to be omitted from the above strategy.

 

Tad Soroczynski

MScEng, PhD (UNE), strategic planner and water engineering expert

Sawtell