Don’t curb your enthusiasm for sustainable subdivision design

4th June, 2024

HIA recommends Local Governments consider reducing required fill levels within the verge

Planning and design decisions made by land developers and Local Government Officers prior to subdivision approval can reduce the potential for sediment pollution and subsequent sedimentation, improving sustainability outcomes.

Perth NRM’s small-scale research project found that a reduced level of fill behind semi-mountable verge curbing, as used at Cygnia Cove in Waterford, could be a beneficial and cost-effective option for an effective physical barrier and prevent a considerable proportion of sediment leaving site, helping Local Governments protect their drainage, Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and natural assets.

The Housing Industry Association (WA)’s representative on the Sediment Task Force, Mr. Aaron Sice, Assistant Director for Building, Planning & Environment, recently advised that “to reduce sediment loss during lot development, consideration could be made regarding both the type of curb and the expected fill level within the verge required by Local Governments at asset handover (as per Local Government Authority specifications for road construction). Providing semi-mountable curbs combined with reducing the height of fill expected at the back of them means curbs can act as a very useful barrier for sediment with good control building practices employed. A majority of this verge-fill soil is often removed for landscaping after handover, meaning this measure to reduce sediment would be cost effective across the entire construction process”.

Preventing soil erosion, sediment runoff, sand drift and dust during subdivision and construction at lot scale can help Local Governments save money. Effective site sediment controls will also protect drainage and WSUD assets, improve water quality and the habitat of animals and plants that live in waterways and wetlands, increasing the new residents and wider community’s use and enjoyment of these special places.

The Cygnia Cove project was funded by the Perth NRM and Australian Government’s Swan Canning River Recovery Project Stage Three and supported by the City of South Perth, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Sediment Task Force.

For a copy of the Sediment Control at Cygnia Cove Stakeholder Summary Report or for more information on best practice sediment management during land development visit https://www.perthnrm.com/resource/sediment-management/ or contact Bronwyn Scallan, Sediment Project Manager at [email protected]

Authors: Aaron Sice (HIA WA) and Bronwyn Scallan (Perth NRM)

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