Bulli estate stormwater 'not an issue'

The new 178-home development at the old Bulli Brickworks site will not create increased stormwater run-off downstream, Wollongong City Council has said.

After the damage caused by the recent storms, much of which replicated other recent flood events, attention has turned yet again to Wollongong's management of stormwater through the network of creeks leading down from the escarpment.

Many citizens, including Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, have said development in the wrong areas has increased the flood risk, as water flows faster over roofs and driveways than over parkland.

Now some Bulli residents are worried Village Building's 13-hectare brickworks development may increase the stormwater load on Slacky Creek, which flows from the escarpment near the Bulli Showground, through residential areas, to the northern end of Sandon Point Beach.

Large concrete drainpipes are sitting in Slacky Flat Park, ready to be installed as storm drains from the uphill development to the creek.

After the most recent flooding, the creek became clogged with large amounts of mud, silt and vegetation. Nearby resident Cathy Andreassen is wondering how the development might affect stormwater.

"It's not going to be good," she said.

"I'm sure there's going to be a huge impact."

But a spokesman for the council said water-control facilities were part of the planning agreement, and run-off would not get worse.

"The development has been designed and conditioned to ensure that there is no increase in run-off downstream of the site, as well as stringent water quality targets that must be met," he said.

With 4.6 hectares of the brickworks site being dedicated to a park area, the developer must also build detention storage areas, which can capture stormwater in heavy downpours for later gradual release.

These plans were approved by council's stormwater development engineer.

The Hewitts Creek floodplain management plan, developed in response to the 1998 flooding that inundated parts of Bulli and Thirroul, recommended a development control plan "to ensure all future development is compatible with flooding risks".

The local office of Village Building referred the Mercury's questions to the council.

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