January 23rd 2009
A Radical scenario
There has been little heard or reported recently about the future of Juniper's Radical Bay development and, with a world economic crisis growing ever more perilous, perhaps it is little wonder. What has been learned however is that the original plan, for 98 units and 12 houses with a large lagoon swimming pool, is now out the window with a, very different, 24 house block, subdivision in the offing.
The new plan was lodged with Council on November 14 last year but has yet to be presented to Council.
According to, Deputy Mayor, David Crisafulli, "TCC won't consider any application that compromises public access to the beach."
Magnetic Times has sighted what is thought to be a concept plan of the proposal which includes a main access street branching off into two roughly parallel cross streets servicing the residential blocks which range in size from 1203m squared down to 600m squared.
A narrow "common pedestrian access" walkway extends from the intersection of the main access street with the closest street to the beach. It isn't clear from the plans if the general public would be free to enter the "private common property" as the development area is designated but, with a small carpark outside the entrance and the "future board walk access" running around the development site's perimeter, it seems that the expectation by Juniper is to redirect the public via this route as was part of the previous development plan.
But, following the king tide and storm earlier this month, the possibility of future storm flooding in low-lying areas has presented a challenge that both the Deputy Mayor and Councillor Vern Veitch are acutely aware of.
The Councillors visited Radical Bay last week after the storm and witnessed what Magnetic Times has since documented. The frontal dune at Radical was overtopped extensively along the length of the beach. In at least one area near the centre of the beach the storm-washed pumice line was over ten metres beyond the dune's peak. This small dune slopes gently downwards, inland, before the land rises gradually behind it.
Last year, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal knocked back a development in Gippsland due to the unacceptable risk of rising sea levels.
Whether Radical Bay fits with this scenario is not known but Cr Crisafulli told Magnetic Times, "We need to set standards that are stringent enough to weather such storms and they may come at great cost to developers," adding, "Every council across the country is assessing this with fresh eyes."
The message was elaborated further by Cr Vern Veitch who didn't wish to speak about the Radical development specifically, but said, "We have to be really careful about where we allow residential development in light of the storm. Over the next decade extreme events will become the norm. That storm produced an 80cm storm surge on top of a 3.8metre tide. The highest Astronomical High Tide (AHT) is 4.1metres and this storm was not as big as we could expect with a cyclone storm surge."
Magnetic Times sought comment from Juniper but their Radical Bay spokesperson was unavailable.
A local real estate agent, Ian Ivers, who had met with Juniper representatives in August last year was expecting, "to get direction" in October but has heard no more from the developer.
Following are a series of photos indicating the distance the storm pushed water inland.
Story & photos: George Hirst
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