Plans to raise house okayed
THEY'VE had more than their share of floods and subsequent cleaning up - and these past 12 months, waiting - but Lynda and Gerard Hemmings are now on track for a happy ending.
The Hamilton St home owners decided last January to elevate their home after one foot of water crept into the second story of their home, but their plans were put on the backburner after they approached the Southern Downs Regional Council.
It is believed council's initial concerns related to how any development to the property would affect the flow of water in the event of another flood.
This ruffled the feathers of the couple, who argued their plans were in line with regulation and would not create a backlog or change the speed of the water.
After 12 months of negotiations and meetings, the Hemmings met with three council staff members last Thursday and finally got their operational and building plans approved.
"We've sort of got the go-ahead. We've just got the paperwork to lodge," Mrs Hemmings said.
"At the meeting we didn't have to compromise. We're well within guidelines with respect to however high we're going."
The pair will fill their yard block up with dirt to reach the same height as the footpath, and then build their house 2m above that.
They plan to use earth from the lower end of their property to do this.
Mrs Hemmings said it was a "relief" to be given the nod and said council was "certainly more agreeable this time".
"They've realised we're in the backwater (section of the river) and there's no flow as such," she said.
"We'll get the paperwork lodged and see how we go from there."
SDRC director of engineering services Peter See said at the meeting on Thursday, three council staff went through how the operational and building works needed to be carried out.
"The fill will be done using soil from their property so there will be no net change in the amount of flood storage on the property," he said.
"This means whatever fill is placed in a new location will be sourced from nearby with the same quantity.
"Operational works approval is required for any filling carried out that is more than eight cubic metres in volume."
Mr See said the meeting was "very cordial" and he anticipated both council's and the Hemmings' interests could be met.