Consultation outcomes

on the Geotechnical Review - Geotechnical Planning Controls Northern Beaches

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, 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.

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.