NSW councils oppose the state government’s move to restrict or halt development on flood-prone land
NSW councils reject a move by the state government to reduce or halt development on flood-prone land, condemning a one-size-fits-all approach and accusing the government of moving the goalposts after initially making the ban voluntary.
The debate concerns the inclusion of Section 5.22 of the Standard Planning Tool in municipalities’ Local Environmental Plans. The clause provides that consent must not be given unless it can be shown that the development will not affect the safe occupation or efficient evacuation of people in the event of a flood.
Any development must also include appropriate measures to deal with life risks and demonstrate that they will not adversely affect the environment in the event of a flood.
Initially, 32 of NSW’s 128 councils – exactly a quarter – volunteered to include the clause in their LEPs, which set parameters for development in local government areas. But following the recommendations of the 2022 flood survey, led by former chief scientist Mary O’Kane and former top police officer Mick Fuller, the government has decided to include them in all LEPs or make them mandatory in a statewide planning tool.
In a formal submission, NSW Local Government, the top body of state councils, said they did not support this approach and accused the planning department of trying to “move the goalposts”.
“By adopting this clause nationwide, the [proposal] seems to deviate completely from this previous consultation process,” said LGNSW.
“The nature and risk associated with flooding varies from catchment to catchment and from location to location.
and must therefore be considered in relation to the local context.
“LGNSW does not support the one-size-fits-all approach unless it is subject to further evaluation and investigation and a plan for consultation with all councils.”
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/councils-push-back-against-crackdown-on-floodplain-development-20230304-p5cpdy.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw NSW councils oppose the state government’s move to restrict or halt development on flood-prone land