LAKE Macquarie City Council is planning to reduce the number of properties with controversial sea level rise notations from 10,000 to 4450.
The planned backdown coincides with councillors facing a major decision on a development in Marks Point that council staff have recommended to refuse because of sea level rise concerns.
Councillors will consider on Monday whether to allow a plan to increase dwellings from three to 22 in Marks Point Road.
The council introduced sea level rise notations in 2009, but has come under fire over concerns that they reduce property values and restrict development. A new flood study has led the council to propose removing the notations from properties on land one to three metres above sea level. Properties below the one-metre level would keep the notations.
The notations were placed on section 149 property certificates, which prospective property buyers can obtain from councils.
A council statement said the council was ‘‘obliged by law’’ to indicate on section 149 property certificates ‘‘any special development restrictions attached to properties’’.
‘‘We cannot predict the likely effects on property values of a notation on section 149 property certificates,’’ the council statement said.
Community concern about Lake Macquarie council’s sea level rise policy has gained attention over the past five months, with legal and political action planned.
Belmont businessman Jeff McCloy proposed a class action against councillors for devaluing and restricting properties.
The Marks Point area is among the lowest land in Lake Macquarie.
Federal maps show Marks Point headland would become an island under a worst case scenario of rising sea levels.
The maps show Marks Point under water if sea levels rise by 50 centimetres to 110 centimetres by 2100.
Federal agency Geoscience Australia published the maps, which the council’s website has linked to.
An agency statement that accompanied the maps said they were ‘‘developed to help communicate the risks of sea level rise’’.
The agency, fearful of legal action, added a disclaimer.
‘‘The images are not provided as professional advice and should not be relied upon for site-specific decision-making or for making financial or any other commitments,’’ it said.