THE tide has ebbed on the value of Belmont, Swansea and Marks Point homes and angry residents are blaming Lake Macquarie council.
At last week’s council meeting, councillor Jason Pauling tabled a letter from 250 Coastal Residents Group members who have called for the removal of flood notations from the affected properties’ 149 planning certificates.
They claim it has significantly devalued the 10,800 properties that have the notations because potential buyers saw it negatively.
In 1997, there were only 7700 homes with flood notations.
Since then, insurance companies have upped their premiums due to the inclusion of flood cover, and the property market has fluctuated.
Cr Pauling voted for the council’s recommendation that a briefing memorandum be prepared for councillors in response to the letter, saying it was about ‘‘seeking answers to their [the residents’] questions’’.
Several councillors had their say, including Cr Barry Johnston, who referred to it as a ‘‘dead issue’’ and Cr Ken Paxinos, who said the council had written residents off as ‘‘collateral damage’’.
However, at the time, a decision about the removal of flood notations was not made.
Councillors Laurie Coghlan and Wendy Harrison put forward the recommendation with the amendment to ‘‘acknowledge receipt of’’ the briefing memorandum, which was carried 8-4.
The next Planning for Future Flood Risks session will be held on Saturday, September 7 at Belmont South Foreshore Reserve from 11am to 1pm, then Tuesday, September 17 at Marks Point Public School between 3pm and 6pm.