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
The Hawkesbury Employment Lands Strategy was prepared in order to respond to the Greater Sydney Region Plan and Western City District Plan, and inform the Local Strategic Planning Statement and subsequent review of the Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan. Preparation of the Strategy included a review of the current Hawkesbury Employment Lands Strategy 2008.
The key considerations to emerge from research associated with the Hawkesbury Employment Lands Strategy include:
- Planning policy overview
- High level employment structure
- High level demographics
- Industry sectors and economic anchors
- Industry trends and emerging business opportunities.
The Hawkesbury Employment Lands Strategy identified the following opportunities in Key Industry Sectors and Economic Anchors:
- Freight network
- Defence/RAAF Base Richmond
Council adopted the Hawkesbury Employment Lands Strategy at its Ordinary Meeting on 8 December 2020.
The adopted Hawkesbury Employment Lands Strategy can be viewed here.
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:
- Subject to any necessary minor editing and layout amendments the draft Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, as exhibited, be adopted.
- The adopted Hawkesbury Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan be published on Council’s website.
- 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 Local Housing Strategy
Council adopted the Hawkesbury Local Housing Strategy at its Ordinary Meeting on 8 December 2020.
The Hawkesbury Local Housing Strategy is based on revised population projections from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (2019) which had revised the projected 2036 population of the Hawkesbury down to 77,048 (increase of approximately 10,000 from the 2016 population of 67,083). Council is of the view that these projections should be considered further given the following considerations:
- The designation of much of the City within the Greater Sydney Commission’s Metropolitan Rural Area
- Infrastructure NSW - Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities Hawkesbury Nepean Flood Strategy and the implications of incorporating the Probable Maximum Flood into planning strategies
- Deferral by the NSW State Government of consideration of the Outer Sydney Orbital Corridor through the Hawkesbury Local Government Area
- Level of significant constraints (bushfire, RAAF ANEF Noise Contours, significant areas of high biodiversity, significant cultural heritage)
The key issues to emerge from housing research associated with the adopted Hawkesbury Local Housing Strategy include:
- Need to accommodate steady growth – five year target of 1,150 dwellings and growth to continue to 2036
- Limited diversity in the housing stock
- Emerging mismatch between household size and dwelling type/size
- Pockets of housing stress and a growing need for more affordable housing
- Significant constraints are a major barrier to development (flooding, bushfire risk, ANEF aircraft contours, biodiversity/vegetation, heritage considerations).
Key recommendations of the adopted Hawkesbury Local Housing Strategy include:
- Focus new housing growth in urban release areas and encourage some smaller dwellings in these areas to increase housing diversity
- Maximise the potential of existing urban lands
- Increase the supply of smaller dwellings in both established and new areas
- Continue to expand affordable housing options and further enhance Council’s existing Affordable Housing Policy, including Council’s involvement with the preparation of the Western City Affordable Housing Strategy
- Maintain a long term supply of residential land by investigating potential new urban areas
- Develop a program to monitor housing land supply and housing delivery
- Address homelessness through continued implementation and updates to Homelessness Action Plan.
- Consideration of the provision of Detached Dual Occupancies and Secondary Dwellings through a place based approach that considers the recommendations of the Hawkesbury Rural Lands Strategy
The adopted Hawkesbury Local Housing Strategy can be viewed here.
The adopted Hawkesbury Local Housing Strategy has been submitted to the NSW State Government - Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for endorsement.
Hawkesbury City Council Net Zero Emissions and Water Efficiency Strategy
Council adopted the Hawkesbury City Council Net Zero Emissions and Water Efficiency Strategy at its Ordinary Meeting on 30 March 2021. The Strategy outlines a plan to guide Council, and the community to achieve emissions and water reductions across Council’s operations and the broader local government area. The Strategy will assist to deliver a climate resilient community with economic benefits for Council and the community through decreased operational costs and environmental benefits. The implementation of this Strategy requires collaboration and coordination across Council, and stakeholders, including residents, businesses and state government agencies.
The adopted Strategy can be viewed here.
For more information on Council and Community emissions and water, and actions to reduce emissions and increase water efficiency please visit Living Sustainably - Hawkesbury City Council
Hawkesbury Rural Lands Strategy
The Hawkesbury Rural Lands Strategy was prepared in order to respond to the Greater Sydney Region Plan and Western City District Plan, and inform the Local Strategic Planning Statement and subsequent review of the Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan.
The objectives of the Hawkesbury Rural Lands Strategy are:
- To identify the economic, environmental and social opportunities for the preservation, management and enhancement of rural lands within the Hawkesbury Local Government Area for the future.
- To prepare a Strategy that will be the guiding document for the future planning, development and management of rural lands within the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.
- That the strategy should be able to inform robust decision making and outcomes for planning proposals, development applications and a review of broader strategic plans such as the Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012.
- That the strategy will also provide appropriate land use planning controls reflective of the circumstances of Hawkesbury’s rural lands, taking into account the impacts of emerging pressures and opportunities.
The Hawkesbury Rural Lands Strategy includes key recommendations focused on:
- Growth Management
- Rural Lands Preservation
- Economic Development
- Land Use Planning
Council adopted the Hawkesbury Rural Lands Strategy at its Ordinary Meeting on 30 March 2021.
The adopted Hawkesbury Rural Lands Strategy can be viewed here.
Works in Kind Policy and Procedure
The purpose of the Works in Kind Policy is to establish a framework for Works in Kind Agreements in satisfaction of requirements to pay development contributions in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Council’s Contribution Plans that includes:
- Procedures for making an application and entering into a Works in Kind Agreement
- Details about how Council will assess and determine whether it will enter into a Works in Kind Agreement
- Ensuring that a fair, transparent, efficient and accountable framework governs the use of Works in Kind Agreements to facilitate the provision of public facilities, services and amenity outcomes that align with, or are consistent with Council's corporate and strategic planning context, including Council’s Development Contribution Plans.
The Works in Kind Policy addresses material public benefits that are offered:
- In satisfaction of existing conditions requiring payment of Development Contributions (under Section 7.11(5) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979)
- In conjunction with proposed development (so that the offset can be considered under Section 7.11(5) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979)
- In return for a ‘credit’ against future contributions that would otherwise be payable (under Section 7.11(6) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).
Council has sole discretion to decide whether it will accept Works in Kind. However, it is intended that Council and all persons dealing with Council in relation to Works in Kind will follow this Policy and Procedure to the fullest extent possible.
Voluntary Planning Agreements Policy
A Voluntary Planning Agreement may be used for a variety of reasons in order to achieve public benefits which are not ordinarily available through the planning and development system or are available in a restricted manner.
Voluntary Planning Agreements:
- Provide a means for allowing the local community to share in the financial benefit obtained by a developer due to a change in planning controls or a consent to a development application;
- Provide a way for the local community to secure public benefits in addition to measures which are required to address the impact of development on private and public lands;
- Allow for a flexible means for achieving good development outcomes and targeted public benefit;
- Provide opportunities for the local community to participate in the quality and delivery of public benefits; and
- Allow developers to have an input to the type, quality, timing and location of public benefits.
Council may consider entering into a Voluntary Planning Agreement where there will be an opportunity or likely requirement for a development contribution:
- When a developer:
- proposes to, or has made a request for a planning proposal seeking a change to Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012 to facilitate the carrying out of development or State Significant Development; or
- proposes to, or has made, a development application under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979; or
- an application under s 4.55 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 to modify a development consent; or
- has entered into an agreement with, or is otherwise associated with, a person to whom (i), (ii) or (iii) applies; or
- In the circumstances of an offer by a developer as set out in section 7.7(3) of the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979, s 7.7 (3) states in part: a consent authority can require a planning agreement to be entered into as a condition of a development consent, but only if it requires a planning agreement that is in the terms of an offer made by the developer in connection with:
- the development application or application for a complying development certificate, or
- a change to an environmental planning instrument sought by the developer for the purposes of making the development application or application for a complying development certificate, or that is in the terms of a commitment made by the proponent in a statement of commitments made under Part 3A.
Notwithstanding the above, Council in its absolute discretion is not obliged to enter into a voluntary planning agreement with a developer.
The Council’s use of planning agreements will be governed by the following principles:
- Planning decisions may not be bought or sold through planning agreements,
- Development that is unacceptable on planning grounds will not be permitted because of planning benefits offered by developers that do not make the development acceptable in planning terms,
- Council will not allow planning agreements to improperly fetter the exercise of its functions under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Regulation or any other Act or law,
- Council will not use planning agreements for any purpose other than a proper planning purpose,
- Council will not allow the interests of individuals or interest groups to outweigh the public interest when considering a proposed planning agreement,
- Council will not improperly rely on its statutory position in order to extract unreasonable public benefits from developers under planning agreements,
- If the Council has a commercial interest in development the subject of a planning agreement, it will take appropriate steps to ensure that it avoids a conflict of interest between its role as a planning authority and its interest in the development,
- When considering a planning proposal or development application, Council will not give undue weight to a planning agreement.
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