New NSW Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy (MC SEPP)

Earlier this month the Association made a detailed submission to NSW Planning, regarding the Department’s recently released draft MC SEPP. The Association supported the thrust of the SEPP, along with a number of recommended changes.

The draft MC SEPP is a vital component of the new Coastal Management Act 2016. The planning requirements of this legislation will impact on all future developments in the ‘Coastal Zone’.

Whether an individual is involved as a landowner, a developer, a State or Local Government (coastal) official, or conservationist or member of the public, these changes are significant and need to be studied. They will cause confusion until they are understood.

Coastwatchers representative on the

Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Coastal and Environmental Management Advisory Committee (CEMAC), Reina Hill, has been involved with the progress of these changes since their conception.

The Association understands the importance of effective coastal management to protect the natural processes that shape the environment, and to maintain public access, amenity and use of coastal areas into the future.

The SEPP gives equal importance to social, economic and environmental interests, and will eventually replace older policies and SEPP’s when finalised. The MC SEPP specifies that the ‘Coastal Zone’, will have four distinct coastal management areas.

(i) Coastal Wetlands and Littoral Rain Forest Area
(ii) Coastal Environment Area
(iii) Coastal Use Area, and the
(iv) Coastal Vulnerability Area

This allows the specific objectives and diverse environments and interests of each category to be individually managed, each having its own specific development controls. When complete, the mapping overlays for all four management areas will be an extremely useful management tool for planners and approval authorities, in determining development applications for land use within the Coastal Zone.

In the event of any inconsistency between Local Planning controls and the CM SEPP, the CM SEPP will prevail.

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