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Heathcote Flood Study recommendations for Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme

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The City of Greater Bendigo has prepared a Planning Scheme Amendment to include the recommendations from the Heathcote Flood Study (2016).  

The Study was commissioned by the Department of Environment Land, Water and Planning, the North Central Catchment Management Authority and the City of Greater Bendigo to update the existing flood mapping and flood-related planning controls in the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme for the Heathcote area. 

Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said no changes had been made to flood mapping and flood-related planning controls since the late 1990s and early 2000s, which meant there was a lack of detailed flood modelling for Heathcote.  

“The proposed changes to the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme seek to protect life and property in areas that are at risk of flooding in Heathcote and to ensure that up-to-date information on flooding is taken into consideration when dealing with future development proposals,” Mr O’Sullivan said. 

“The implementation of the updated information on flooding in Heathcote into the Greater Planning Scheme will be important for the township’s future growth, investment and development. The new proposed provisions will create more certainty for a safer living and working environment for the Heathcote community.

“The Heathcote Local Floodplain Development Plan (2019) will also be introduced into the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme to be consistent with the same approach that has already been applied to Bendigo urban areas.”  

The proposed Amendment C243 will affect properties located on either side of the McIvor Creek in Heathcote. It proposes to:

  • Update the extent of the existing Urban Floodway Zone in Heathcote to prevent inappropriate development from occurring in some areas exposed to extreme flooding
  • Remove the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay Schedule 3 from all land in Heathcote
  • Apply the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay Schedules 1 (flood depth less than 350mm) and 2 (flooding depth greater than 350mm) where appropriate
  • Introduce a Local Floodplain Development Plan (2019)

The new proposed planning Amendment will only affect new land uses and development proposals and not existing buildings or structures. 

The amendment will be considered at the next Council meeting on Wednesday November 20. A recommendation to request authorisation from the Minister for Planning will be considered to place the Amendment on public display and receive community feedback in early 2020. 

The Council report is available at: www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/agendas

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