Sydney Harbour plans

Sydney Harbour Catchment Regional Environmental Plan

Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005 (Harbour REP) covers all the waterways of the Harbour, the foreshores and entire catchment. It establishes a set of planning principles to be used by councils for the preparation of planning instruments, for the hydrological catchment of the Harbour. It also zones the waterways into nine different zones to suit the differing environmental characteristics and land uses of the harbour and its tributaries. 

The Harbour REP includes a range of matters for consideration by consent authorities assessing development within the Foreshores and Waterways Area of the Plan. These are aimed at ensuring better and consistent development decisions and include such issues as ecological and scenic quality, built form and design, maintenance of views, public access and recreation and working harbour uses. The REP includes provisions relating to heritage conservation and wetlands protection and provides planning controls for strategic foreshore sites. 

On 27 July 2007, Amendment No. 1 to the REP was gazetted, which establishes a buffer zone around the Sydney Opera House as well as supporting planning controls to give added protection to its world heritage values. 

Buffer zone map approved by the Minister for Planning on 19 July 2007.

Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005 - legal instrument as amended (available on the NSW legislation website)
Explanatory notes to the REP PDF file 

The Foreshores and Waterways Planning and Development Advisory Committee

About the committee 
The Foreshores and Waterways Planning and Development Advisory Committee provides advice to consent authorities on a range of matters including proposals for foreshore and waterway developments in the Sydney Harbour catchment.
The committee is established under the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005, which came into effect in September 2005, also known as the Harbour REP.
The committee is comprised of representatives from Transport for NSW (Roads and Maritime Services), the Department of Planning & Environment and the relevant consent authority (usually council).  
The Harbour REP sets out which matters should be referred to the committee (see clauses 29 to 31 and Schedule 2). 
The committee generally meets once every three weeks and meetings are hosted by either the department or Roads and Maritime Services.
New procedures were adopted in August 2011 for the calling of meetings and conduct of business. These procedures aim to focus government resources more efficiently on items generally considered to be of: 

  • State or regional planning significance;
  • In the public interest;
  • A matter for which the committee can offer technical or expert advice. 

Committee procedures – August 2011 PDF file


Sydney Harbour Catchment Map

Foreshores and Waterways Area Map
Foreshores and Waterways Area Boundary PDF file
Strategic Foreshore sites PDF file

Zoning Map
Zoning Map Area Boundary PDF file

Special Purposes (Boat Repair Facilities and Commercial Marinas) Map

Strategic Foreshore Sites Map

Heritage Map

Wetlands Protection Area Map

Critical Habitat Area Map


Last Updated 13-May-2014