Submissions closed

on the Geotechnical Review - Geotechnical Planning Controls Northern Beaches

Submissions closed

Submissions on the Geotechnical Review 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 review as exhibited on this page.

If you have any remaining questions about this review, 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, as required by 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 a number of technical studies to identify the issues and recommend controls for specific environmental characteristics.

One of those studies is the Geotechnical Review – Geotechnical Planning Controls Northern Beaches. This study reviewed the existing geotechnical controls and identified seven Geotechnical Planning Classes to be incorporated into a new LEP and DCP. 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.

Use our online search tool to find out what Geotechnical planning classes are proposed for your property. This online search tool has been prepared as part of the Conservation Zones Review project. Refer to the links section on this page for more information on the Conservation Zones Review.

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 review

The Geotechnical Review – Geotechnical Planning Controls report is a technical study undertaken by engineering consulting firm Douglas Partners Pty Ltd that sought to review the existing planning controls across the three former Council’s (Manly, Warringah, Pittwater) associated with geotechnical related matters and provide updated mapping and controls to be incorporated into a unified Northern Beaches Council Local Environment Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP).

LEPs and DCPs are used by Council to regulate development and land use. Council must consider the risks associated with geotechnical conditions (landslide, groundwater etc.) associated with the land and the impact any proposed development will have on the site and the surrounding areas prior to giving development consent.

The new LEP and DCP clauses are based primarily on the existing Pittwater clauses which were the most comprehensive and procedural, however modifications have been suggested to incorporate some of the measures previously included in the Warringah and Manly clauses relating to other geotechnical issues.

The Geotechnical LEP clauses are proposed to apply to all land in the LGA rather than on specifically tagged properties on a specific Geotechnical Hazard map. This is to ensure that any development proposal takes into consideration geotechnical risks. This does not however result in every development application requiring a geotechnical report. Applicants will be required to lodge one of the following:

  1. No Geotechnical Assessment
  2. Preliminary Geotechnical Assessment
  3. Detailed Geotechnical Report
  4. Detailed Geotechnical Report and Hydrogeological Report

A detailed map is contained with the DCP that tags all land into one of seven Geotechnical Planning Classes depending on the known underlying geology and topographic position (e.g. C1 – Hawkesbury Sandstone, Slopes < 5 degrees). A table is also provided containing development characteristics which are then cross referenced against the relevant Geotechnical Planning Class to determine which of items 1 to 4 described above are required with a development application.

If any of items 2-4 are required, the applicant is also required to submit forms with their development application signed by suitably qualified geotechnical engineers or engineering geologists certifying the assessments/reports have been carried out in accordance with the requirements stipulated within the DCP.

No proposed LEP or DCP clause prevents any development that would otherwise be feasible from an engineering perspective. The clauses are intended to ensure adequate due diligence and feasibility assessment is undertaken prior to lodging a development application.

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?

You can get more information by contacting:

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

Marked Geotechnical Review - Geotechnical Planning Controls, Northern Beaches Council, PO Box 82 Manly NSW 1655.