Submissions closed

on the Cowan Creek Estuarine Planning Levels Study

Submissions closed

Submissions on the Cowan Creek Estuarine Planning Levels Study are now closed and we are in the process of reviewing all feedback received.

Although formal submissions are now complete, you can still read the study as exhibited on this page.

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

Engagement history

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

Our planning framework is made up of a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) which is used to control development of land in a Local Government Area and 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 this technical study have also been used to inform the identification of draft Conservation Zones for inclusion in a future Northern Beaches LEP.

One of those studies is the Draft Cowan Creek Estuarine Planning Levels Study. The study and its associated maps provide a consistent and evidence-based approach to mapping estuarine inundation risk across the LGA during extreme but rare storm events, under both existing and future sea level conditions.

The mapping will be included in the new Northern Beaches LEP/DCP to ensure land use policy responses and development controls address estuarine inundation risk.

Your feedback on our Draft Cowan Creek Estuarine Planning Levels Study will help us understand if we have got the right balance of due diligence and avoiding difficult development application requirements.

If you have any questions about this study or need support with the online search tool, please call the Strategic and Place Planning Team on 1300 434 434.

Snapshot of the study

Estuarine planning level (EPL) studies define the estuarine inundation (also referred to as coastal inundation) risk during extreme but rare storm events, for affected properties, under both existing and future sea level conditions.

The Cowan Creek Estuarine Planning Levels Study prepared by Rhelm Pty Ltd covers the foreshore areas of Cottage Point and Akuna Bay. Land uses in the study area include national park, public recreation, and residential.

Northern Beaches Council has a responsibility to manage coastal hazard risks under the Coastal Management Act 2016 and State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018. This includes strategic planning as well as applying planning provisions and development controls to reduce risks to the natural and built environments for current and future coastal hazards. Estuarine inundation is one type of coastal hazard.

Northern Beaches Council uses estuarine inundation mapping to identify foreshore properties that are subject to estuarine inundation. Estuarine inundation mapping is also used to establish appropriate floor levels for new development and identifies properties requiring hazard disclosures on planning certificates.

The study uses the same approach and methodology as the previous Pittwater EPL Study - use the online search tool to see all properties affected by estuarine inundation.

The outcomes of the study include:

  • New proposed estuarine inundation maps for inclusion in the Northern Beaches LEP/DCP.
  • Specific estuarine planning levels for development for affected properties, under both existing and future sea level conditions.

The study and associated maps provide a consistent and evidence-based approach to mapping estuarine inundation across the LGA. The mapping will be included in the new Northern Beaches LEP/DCP to ensure land use policy responses and development controls address estuarine inundation.

Development controls may include:

  • Raising floor levels for new development, in particular residential dwellings, above the EPL (similar to a flood planning level).
  • Ensuring that all structural elements below the EPL are flood compatible.
  • Designing and constructing buildings to have a low risk of damage from wave action and estuarine inundation.
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment, wiring, service pipes and utilities are raised or waterproofed to the EPL.
  • Not permitting storage below the EPL of toxic or potentially polluting goods and materials which may be hazardous or pollute the waterways.

Do the maps and proposed development controls strike the right balance to ensure due diligence for estuarine risk is carried out whilst avoiding being overly onerous on development application requirements?

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)
Email council@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au
Website www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au
In writing

Marked 'Draft Cowan Creek Estuarine Planning Levels Study', Northern Beaches Council, PO Box 82 Manly NSW 1655.