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Resilience and Hazards SEPP

State Environmental Planning Policy (Resilience and Hazards) 2021 – also known as the Resilience and Hazards SEPP – officially began on 1 March 2022. It provides a coordinated approach to assessing development in NSW. 

Chapter 2 of the Resilience and Hazards SEPP covers how development proposals are assessed if they are in a coastal zone, and is supported by detailed mapping.

Local planning direction

A local planning direction (direction 4.2) (PDF, 520 KB) supports councils when developing and assessing planning proposals (such as proposals to rezone land) in coastal areas.

It promotes a strategic approach to:

  • reduce threats from inappropriate land use in important coastal and marine areas
  • help minimise the exposure of communities to coastal hazards
  • reduce the risk of creating other problems for future generations.

Coastal management policy history

From 1979 until 2018, the Coastal Protection Act 1979 set the strategic policy framework for coastal issues in NSW. From a planning perspective, the Act was complemented and supported by these state planning policies:

  • SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands).
  • SEPP 26 (Littoral Rainforests).
  • SEPP 71 (Coastal Protection), including clause 5.5. of the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan.

In 2016, the Coastal Management Act 2016 was passed and commenced on 3 April 2018, together with State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018. This framework repealed the 1979 Act and updated and consolidated the three planning policies into one integrated and contemporary policy.

On 1 March 2022, 45 planning policies were consolidated into 11 theme-based policies, to make the planning system simpler. The Coastal Management SEPP 2018 is now Chapter 2 (Coastal Management) of the Resilience and Hazards SEPP 2021. Other than the savings and transitional provisions of the 2018 policy (which have since lapsed), Chapter 2 replicates the 2018 policy.

Local planning direction

A local planning direction (direction 4.2) (PDF, 520 KB) for coastal management supports councils when developing and assessing planning proposals (such as to rezone land). This direction ensures that these strategic planning activities are consistent with the objectives of the Act and SEPP provisions for coastal management.

Planning proposals within the coastal zone need to be consistent with Coastal Management Programs (or Coastal Zone Management Plans that continue to have effect) for that area, or evidence obtained through similar processes or studies. This strategic approach will reduce the degree to which future land uses threaten important coastal and marine environmental assets, expose communities to coastal hazards or create other legacy issues that burden future generations.

Coastal zone mapping

The NSW coastal zone is made up of the following 4 coastal management areas.

  1. coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests area – areas that display the characteristics of coastal wetlands or littoral rainforests previously protected by State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) 14 and SEPP 26.
  2. coastal vulnerability area – areas subject to coastal hazards such as coastal erosion and tidal inundation.
  3. coastal environment area – areas with natural coastal features such as beaches, rock platforms, coastal lakes and lagoons, and undeveloped headlands. Marine and estuarine waters are also included.
  4. coastal use area – land next to coastal waters, estuaries and coastal lakes and lagoons, and where urban coastal development may be found.

The Coastal Management Act 2016 specifies management objectives for each area that reflect their different values and threats, and which may overlap.

The Resilience and Hazards SEPP maps the 4 coastal management areas making up the coastal zone for the purposes of both the Coastal Management Act 2016 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

You can view the Resilience and Hazards SEPP maps alongside other relevant local and state planning controls in the NSW Planning Portal Spatial Viewer.

Use the spatial viewer.

If you have any questions about the Resilience and Hazards SEPP (Chapter 2 – Coastal management) and planning and development assessment in the coastal zone, email [email protected]