Elevated plans for homes

The traditional Queenslander may be making a comeback in the region.
The traditional Queenslander may be making a comeback in the region.

DEVELOPERS have been “stumped” by the Central Highlands council with the return of the Queenslander home to flood-prone Emerald streetscapes.

Houses proposed for a rural residential subdivision in the town’s north will be built on stumps or poles to raise them up above the 2010/11 flood level, a move which could become mandatory for all affected land.

The Central Highlands Regional Council this week placed the planning control condition on approval for the 12.4 hectare site being subdivided after negotiation with the developer.

“Council is looking at developing a policy that responds to the 2010 flood levels for areas that were inundated,” confirmed CHRC Mayor Peter Maguire.

Council has moved to identify and minimise development in vulnerable areas after the latest flood which resulted in the internal Natural Hazards – Flood report.

Floor levels of any new homes or dwellings will be a recommended 600mm above flood level.

“Since 2008, the Emerald Town Zone has seen two severe floods cover areas that have not been subject to this level of deluge in recent times,” the report said.

“State building regulations specify a minimum general freeboard requirement of 300mm above the defined flood level.

“However, following the events of December, 2010, CHRC considers a larger freeboard requirement is applicable for residential development in the flood-affected town areas.

“Therefore, in order to reduce the impact of flooding and flood liability on individual owners and occupiers, any future dwellings that may be relocated or constructed on the proposed lots will be required to be elevated (built on stumps or poles).

“These high homes will accommodate cars underneath, with the main living areas confined to the top floor, similar to a Queenslander design.”

The carports must not be enclosed or used for storage.

Height restrictions may be negotiable if house builders apply to have their houses raised further than 8.5 metres.

“We’re looking for alternative design options that provide greater flood immunity than that afforded by the current slab on ground-type of construction,” CHRC Development Services manager Luke Lankowski said.

“We’re negotiating with a number of developers with interests over flood-affected land to redesign their proposals to incorporate stumps or stilts into their designs.

“Buildings designed built in this way are able to be raised further which provides greater flexibility and responsiveness to climate conditions than slab-on-ground development.”

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