A SELF-FUNDED retiree has been told he cannot develop his land at Marks Point because rising sea levels will inundate his property by 2100.
Lake Macquarie City Council staff have recommended refusing Rob Antill’s plan for four two-level dwellings on a 1300-square-metre site.
A council staff report said the development site would have ‘‘a small area permanently inundated by 2050’’.
‘‘The entire site may be permanently inundated by 2100,’’ it said.
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Mr Antill lodged a development application for his plan in July this year, after council staff advised him development was allowable.
‘‘I’m not a climate change sceptic, but I think man is smart enough to do something in the next 100 years to figure this out,’’ Mr Antill said. ‘‘The Dutch live below the sea level and they sorted it out.’’
Mr Antill bought his waterfront property in Haddon Crescent for $1.45million in February 2008, three months before the council released its sea level rise policy.
Since then, waterfront property prices in the area have fallen by 30per cent.
Mr Antill accepts the council must consider sea level rise, but believes the risk of being sued is among their main concerns.
‘‘I think the council has elevated opinion to the status of truth,’’ he said, borrowing a phrase from Save Our Figs spokeswoman Fee Mozeley.
The council approved a subdivision for the site in February this year and originally urged Mr Antill to build 40 units on his block, but he took a conservative approach.
He and his wife intend to keep living in a waterfront heritage-listed house they restored and which adjoins the development site.
‘‘We’re not developers looking to maximise profits,’’ Mr Antill said.
The council was satisfied the plan included raising most floor levels to 2.85 metres, but was concerned rumpus rooms would be only 1.56metres high.
Councillors will vote on the matter on Monday night, where they are expected to reject council staff’s recommendation and support the plan in principle, but defer it for further consideration.