Terara residents Toby and Bev Witheridge live in a flood-prone area.
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The floorboards, which make the house cold in winter, are a stark reminder of twice in the 1970’s when they were evacuated, the house was inundated with water, and the carpet had to be torn up.
The river banks broke nearby, and people were rescued by helicopter in 1974 and 1978.
They are concerned the risk of flooding to the family home has been heightened by a newly-constructed fence around their next-door neighbour’s property.
“We’re concerned in the event of a flood, the flow of water will be held up by debris, and channelled towards our house,” Mr Witheridge said.
The 1.8m cyclone fence around the boundary of the property was approved by Shoalhaven Council in 2010.
The Principal Certifying Authority checked off the fence and issued a Final Occupation Certificate on August 5, 2014.
This is not the first qualm the Witheridges have had with their neighbours.
In 2017, Council ordered the landowner at 5 Nobblers lane to demolish the shed, which was being used as a gym, due to complaints from neighbours.
Council has dismissed present concerns about the fence as an ongoing neighbours’ dispute, and advised Mr Witheridge to go to the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Mr Witheridge believes he may have a case, and is considering his options – he has council documentation stating openings in a fence must be provided below the flood planning level, so as to allow the free flow of water.
There are no openings in the fence on the property in question.
The NSW Environmental Planning Policy states a development must not result in increased flooding elsewhere in the floodplain.
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