Strategies and Policies

Flood Policy 2020

The purpose of the Policy is to:

  • highlight Council’s position in respect of the need for a collaborative approach across all levels of government to respond to issues associated with floodplain management across the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, and
  • set the information and development controls to be used for the preparation and assessment of Development Applications for land affected by the 1:100 ARI flood event to address the requirements of Clause 6.3 - Flood planning of Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012.

The Flood Policy 2020 includes a Schedule of Flood Related Development Controls, which provides up-to-date, relevant, and best practice controls to meet the requirements of Clause 6.3 – Flood planning of Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012, and to clearly express how a proposed development’s suitability is assessed in relation to the impacts of flooding.

The controls within the Flood Policy 2020 are based on the Hazard Category in which a development will be situated, and provides appropriate controls dependent on whether the proposal is:

  • new development, or
  • is for the purposes of additions, alteration, intensification, rebuilding or redevelopment of an existing use, or
  • if an existing use, whether or not it is within a compatible or incompatible Hazard Category.

Hawkesbury Employment Lands Strategy
Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan

Under NSW legislation, Councils have the primary responsibility for management of development within floodplains.  To appropriately manage development, Council needs a strategic plan which considers the potential flood risks and balances these against the beneficial use of the floodplain by development.  To do this, Council needs to consider a range of environmental, social, economic, financial and engineering issues.  This is what happens in a floodplain risk management study. The outcome of the study is the floodplain risk management plan.

On 11 December 2012 Council adopted the Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, and resolved, in part, the following:


  1. Subject to any necessary minor editing and layout amendments the draft Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, as exhibited, be adopted.
  2. The adopted Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan be published on Council’s website.
  3. Council notes that the adoption of the Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan does not adopt the changes to Council’s Planning Instruments.  In this regard the review of the Planning Instruments will be via a separate statutory process that will further consider the recommendations in Volume two of the Plan, the recent changes to the planning Legislation and additional public consultation.

The study and plan consists of:

Volume 1 - Main Report

Introduction to the study area and NSW Government’s floodplain management process; review of existing data; explanation of flood mapping; risk to property; risk to life; options to mitigate existing flood risks; introduction to town planning issues; community consultation; draft floodplain risk management plan; frequently asked questions.

Volume 2 – Planning Issues

Explanation of NSW flood risk management framework; explanation of Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act) flood risk management framework and guidelines; review of flood related development controls applying to the Hawkesbury; analysis of existing and projected population and development; discussion of planning issues and options; summary and conclusion; recommended amendments to Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP).

Note whilst Volume 2 does contain recommended amendments to Council’s flood related development controls in the LEP and DCP and the exhibition of the draft Study and Plan will provide the community with an opportunity to comment on these recommendations, subsequent adoption of the draft Study and Plan will not in itself amend Council’s current development controls.  If Council is to pursue amendments to the LEP and DCP this would require a separate process under the relevant provisions of the Act and associated Regulations, including an additional public exhibition process.

Volume 3 - Flood Maps and Annotated Bibliography

Flood extent, flood level and flood hazard categorisation maps for various flood events from the 1 in 5 year flood up to the Probable Maximum Flood; flood risk precinct map; annotated bibliography of the broad range of reports, studies and publications that the consultants have relied upon.

If you have any enquiries about the Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan please contact Hawkesbury City Council on (02) 4560 4444.

Hawkesbury Open Space Strategy
Hawkesbury Residential Land Strategy

Council adopted, on 10 May 2011, the Hawkesbury Residential Land Strategy.  The aim of the Strategy is to:

  • Accommodate  between 5,000 to 6,000 additional dwellings by 2031, primarily within the existing urban areas as prescribed in the Department of Planning’s North West Subregional Strategy;
  • Preserve the unique and high quality natural environment of the LGA;
  • Accommodate changing population, which presents new demands in terms of housing, services and access;
  • Identify on-going development pressures to expand into natural and rural areas, as well as new development both in and around existing centres; and
  • Identify physical constraints of flood, native vegetation and bushfire risk.
  • Ensure that the appropriate infrastructure is planned and provided to cater for future development.

The Strategy does not rezone land or approve development of areas or localities.  The Strategy has set a planning framework to assist in the implementation of the above aims and will be used to guide the preparation and assessment of rezoning proposals.

Chapters 1 and 2 of the Strategy set out the background to the preparation of the Strategy, the statutory context and the residential development model that is used as the basis for the Strategy.

Chapter 3 reviews the current population and housing needs of the Hawkesbury and also uses these to project the demographic changes for the life of the Strategy to 2031.

Chapter 4 reviews the key issues to development in the Hawkesbury and Chapter 5 undertakes the opportunity and constraints analysis based on those identified issues.  Chapter 5 also identifies the areas suitable for further investigation to determine suitability for development.

Chapter 6 sets out the sustainable development framework that is to be used by applicants and Council in the preparation and assessment of rezoning proposals (Planning Proposals).  This framework will also be used to monitor and review the Strategy approximately every five years following release of Census data.

Page ID: 165559

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