24 Apr 2012

New measures won't stop Otago town from flooding

3:17 pm on 24 April 2012

A new plan for Milton will help but not stop the town from being flooded.

The Clutha District Council and the Otago Regional Council have released details of the Milton 2060 plan, drawn up in response to major flooding in 2006, 2007 and 2010.

A public meeting has been called for Tuesday evening to let owners know exactly how their properties will be affected.

The South Otago town has experienced major flooding three times in the past six years and owners of 580 properties have been told they are likely to be affected by the changes.

The councils are proposing to divide the town and its rural surroundings into zones with different levels of control on future building works.

No residential buildings would be able to be constructed in a new riverside corridor to the south of the town.

New buildings and building additions in parts of the middle of the town would have to be higher than the highest flood level and built to withstand moving water.

Some small earthworks are planned, but the proposal makes clear it will not stop the town flooding - only reduce the impact on its 2000 inhabitants over the next 50 years.

Details of the Milton 2060 proposals and detailed maps of the flood plain showing affected properties have been being published on the councils' websites.

House values affected

Some 580 of the town's 747 properties have received a letter warning them their properties are flood-prone.

Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Tuesday the council has found that between 80 and 100 of those properties to be at high risk.

Mr Cadogan says the flood risk will now be included on Land Information Memorandum reports, which he says will dramatically lower the value of properties at risk.