Consultation outcomes

on the Biodiversity Planning Review

We have reviewed all 935 submissions received in response to the public exhibition of the Conservation Zones Review and Technical Studies.

The main aim of this exhibition was to seek feedback on a draft methodology for the use of Conservation Zones across the Northern Beaches.

You can read the Consultation Report below which summarises the key issues and Council’s response to this feedback. You can also view the redacted submissions received through the public exhibition. The snapshot is also a great overview of the issues raised.

If you have any questions about this study or the consultation outcomes, please call the Strategic and Place Planning Team on 1300 434 434.

Next steps

We anticipate many of the issues raised can be resolved by potential changes to the draft methodology which Council is currently investigating.

Where areas of dispute remain about the accuracy of Council mapping of criteria used in the review, we will engage relevant consultants and contact those landowners who have requested a site inspection.

We are expecting to commence site visits from May 2023.

We are also meeting with the Department of Planning and Environment to discuss the Review, the submissions received, and possible changes. This is important because the Department will have the final say about any proposed zoning changes resulting from the Review.

The outcomes from the Review will help us develop a draft Northern Beaches Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan, which will be presented to Council and exhibited for community feedback in 2024.

We will continue to keep you updated.

Engagement history

We are creating one new planning framework that will guide and manage future development in the Northern Beaches. This is a requirement by the NSW Government.

Our planning framework is made up of a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) which designates land use zones and is used to control development of land in a Local Government Area. The framework also includes a Development Control Plan (DCP) which provides detailed local planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the LEP. A new LEP and DCP for the Northern Beaches will provide a clearer, simpler, and fairer set of planning rules.

To establish these rules, we have carried out several technical studies to identify the issues and recommend controls for specific environmental characteristics. Outputs from the technical studies have also been used to inform the identification of draft Conservation Zones for inclusion in the future Northern Beaches LEP.

One of those technical studies is the Northern Beaches Council Biodiversity Planning Review. This study identifies and maps areas of important biodiversity across the entire Northern Beaches. Large patches of intact bushland have been mapped as core habitat areas which are linked by smaller more fragmented areas of bushland and tree canopy forming biodiversity corridors. Threatened species values have also been mapped in the study.

Your feedback on the Biodiversity Planning Review will help us understand if we have appropriately identified and mapped areas of important biodiversity across the Northern Beaches.

Snapshot of the review

The Northern Beaches Council Biodiversity Planning Review prepared by SMEC includes:

  • review of the currency and robustness of existing wildlife habitat/corridor and threatened entities mapping across the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA). For reference purposes, the mapping Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs) and threatened species habitat, the ‘deferred lands’ which are subject to Warringah LEP 2000 are excluded from this review and are in a separate report (Deferred Lands Biodiversity Assessment – Stage 2)
  • identification of appropriate methodologies to update, validate and consolidate existing wildlife habitat/corridor and threatened entities (flora and fauna species and communities) mapping using industry standards
  • undertaking recommended desktop analysis and field validation studies
  • development of consolidated and updated core habitat/biodiversity corridors and threatened entities spatial layers consistent across the Northern Beaches and fit for adoption in the NBC planning instruments.

The core habitat and biodiversity corridor layer has identified vegetation features which connect larger areas of remnant bushland to facilitate dispersal of wildlife and plant populations across the landscape. Map categories were broadly consistent with the urban biodiversity framework set out under the NSW Government Architect’s Greener Places Urban Green Infrastructure Guide (draft) (GANSW, 2020). This review identified a consolidated biodiversity corridor layer, incorporating core habitat areas and biodiversity corridor areas, suitable for adoption into the new Northern Beaches DCP.

The threatened entities (species and communities) layer includes selected threatened species records and habitat, and the likely pattern of distribution of TECs, as declared under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act).

Northern Beaches Council (NBC) is reviewing its planning instruments and developing a new, integrated Local Environment Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP) to guide its long-term land-use planning, including the definition of Conservation zones and provision of new biodiversity planning controls to protect native vegetation, wildlife habitat and connectivity, and threatened entities (threatened species, threatened ecological communities and threatened populations).

The results of the review have:

  • identified significant areas of core habitat and a network of biodiversity corridors across the Northern Beaches LGA
  • reviewed and identified important key biodiversity assets, particularly threatened entities listed under the BC Act, and the EPBC Act. These threatened entities include likely or confirmed occurrences of, or habitat for threatened species, populations and ecological communities. This review identified limited new extents of TECs, threatened flora species and their habitats.

The recommendations of the review include to update records and listings as new information becomes available and threatened species legislation is updated to refine the accuracy and comprehensiveness of mapped core habitat, biodiversity corridors and threatened entities within the Northern Beaches LGA. The mapping outputs of the current project should be updated as part of future reviews of the Northern Beaches LEP and DCP.

When reading the review, we want to know if you agree with the approach and criteria used in the review to identify and map core habitat areas, biodiversity corridor areas, threatened ecological communities, and threatened flora and fauna species habitat?

Read more about the technical studies that informed the Conservation Zones Review

Our Conservation Zones Review has been informed by a series of technical studies that identify areas with high environmental value and significant environmental hazards.

You can find out more about each of the technical studies by clicking on the boxes below.

Have a question?

To learn more about this study, please contact:

Name Strategic and Place Planning
Phone 1300 434 434 (during business hours)
In writing

Marked 'Biodiversity Planning Review', Northern Beaches Council, PO Box 82 Manly NSW 1655.