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Flood-prone land package

The flood-prone land package provides advice to councils on considering flooding in land-use planning and commenced on 14 July 2021.

The updated guidance supports:

  • better management of flood risk beyond the 1% annual exceedance probability
  • greater resilience built into communities in floodplains and reduces potential property damage and loss of life in recognition of increasing extreme flood events throughout NSW.

The package included:

View the finalised package

Special flood considerations clause

The department strengthened planning rules to better protect and manage new development in areas that could be at risk during floods through an optional  special flood considerations clause (clause 5.22 of the Standard Instrument—Principal Local Environmental Plan).

The special flood considerations clause applies to:

  • sensitive and hazardous development, such as caravan parks, hospitals and seniors housing, between the flood planning area and the probable maximum flood level
  • development that is not sensitive or hazardous on land that the consent authority considers that, in a flood, may pose a particular risk to life and where people may need to evacuate, or where there are other safety concerns.

An explanation of intended effect (EIE) was exhibited from 17 January until 28 February 2023 and sought feedback on implementation options for clause 5.22. A submission report summarises feedback from the exhibition and how that feedback has been used to implement the clause.

Feedback received identified the preferred option of having the clause included in the LEPs of the 33 councils that agreed to include the clause in their LEPs. 

Frequently asked questions on LEP Clause 5.22

Where can I find the definition of sensitive and hazardous land uses that are included in clause 5.22?
Other than sensitive and hazardous land uses between the flood planning areas and probable maximum flood, what other areas of land are covered by this clause?

Any land that as the result of a flood, the consent authority deems will cause a risk to life or evacuation issues.

An example of this may be high flood islands where the land itself is not inundated in floods but people could be isolated for an extended length of time which could pose a risk to life, additional safety considerations or an evacuation issue.

Will clause 5.22 become a mandatory clause?

Clause 5.22 will remain an optional clause in response to feedback received in the exhibition of the Explanation of Intended Effect.

How can councils opt into optional clause 5.22?

Councils can implement clause 5.22 in their local environmental plan via their own planning proposal process. The Department has completed the State led optional clause adoption process.

Which councils have already adopted the clause?

The following 33 councils have adopted the clause:

Bega Valley Shire
Byron Shire 
Central Coast 
Cessnock City
City of Canada Bay
Clarence Valley
Coffs Harbour City
Coonamble Shire
Eurobodalla Shire
Fairfield City
Goulburn Mulwaree
Inner West
Kempsey Shire
Liverpool City
Murray River
Musswellbrook Shire
Narromine Shire
Newcastle City
Northern Beaches
Orange City
Port Macquarie-Hastings
Randwick City
Richmond Valley
Shellharbour City
Shoalhaven City
Snowy Monaro Regional
Sutherland Shire
Tweed Shire
Upper Hunter Shire
Upper Lachlan Shire
Wagga Wagga City
Willoughby City
Wollongong City

How can I tell if a development needs to consider evacuation?

Evacuation considerations can be determined by applying a risk-based approach as outlined in the Flood Risk Management Manual 2023 and its accompanying Flood Risk Management Toolkit, including EM01 Support for emergency management.

For further information, email [email protected]