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10 months ago

Revised Draft North District Plan

The revised draft North District Plan provides a 20-year plan to manage growth and achieve the 40-year vision, while enhancing Greater Sydney’s liveability, productivity and sustainability into the future.

108 Sustainability

108 Sustainability Planning Priority N22 Adapting to the impacts of urban and natural hazards and climate change In giving effect to the draft Greater Sydney Region Plan, this Planning Priority delivers on Objective 36: People and places adapt to climate change and future shocks and stresses; Objective 37: Exposure to natural and urban hazards is reduced and Objective 38: Heatwaves and extreme heat are managed and the corresponding strategies. The District’s climate and natural landscape can create natural hazards such as heatwaves, bushfire, flooding, storms, and coastal inundation and erosion. Climate change will exacerbate these natural hazards. While planning for resilience has traditionally focused on responses to natural hazards and climate change, it is increasing being used to consider a wider range of social and economic shocks and stresses. Effective planning has a fundamental role in reducing the exposure to natural and urban hazards and building resilience to shocks and stresses. Growth and change needs to be considered at a local level, and when making decisions about growth and considering cumulative impacts at district and regional levels. Natural and urban hazards The climate, vegetation, topography and pattern of development in the District mean that bushfire and flooding will continue to be a hazard. Placing development in hazardous areas or increasing the density of development in areas with limited evacuation options increases risk to people and property. All local government areas in the North District are exposed to some flood threat, whether from major rivers or local overland flow. The Floodplain Development Manual 2005 provides councils with policy directions and tools for managing exposure to flooding. Some coastal areas of the District, are at risk of coastal erosion or inundation, such as at Collaroy. Past and present urban development and activities can also create urban hazards such as noise, air pollution and soil contamination. Compared to many cities around the world, Greater Sydney enjoys excellent air quality, which enhances its reputation as a sustainable and liveable city. However, the combined effect of air circulation patterns in the Sydney Basin, local topography, and proximity to different sources of air pollution such a wood-fire smoke, can lead to localised air quality issues. Transport movements along major roads and rail corridors generate noise and are a source of air pollution. The degree of noise or air pollution can be related to the volume of traffic and the level of truck and bus movements. The design of new buildings and public open space can play a significant role in reducing exposure to noise and air pollution along busy road and rail corridors. Public transport, walking and cycling, as well as electric cars provide opportunities to reduce air pollution. Soil and groundwater contamination is another urban hazard which will require careful management as the District grows, and land uses change. This is particularly important when planning for more sensitive land uses such as schools, open space and low density residential neighbourhoods, in areas with potential for pre-existing contamination. State Environmental Planning Policy No. 55 – Remediation of Land and its associated guidelines manage the rezoning and development of contaminated land. Greater Sydney, particularly its rural land, is at risk from biosecurity hazards such as pests and diseases that could threaten agriculture, the environment Greater Sydney Commission | Draft North District Plan

109 and community safety. Biodiversity hazards are being managed by the NSW Government through the Greater Sydney Peri Urban Biosecurity Program. In planning for future growth, consideration of natural hazards and cumulative impacts includes avoiding locating growth and development in areas exposed to natural hazards and limiting growth in existing communities that are exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards. In exceptional circumstances, there may be a need to reduce the number of people and amount of property that are vulnerable to natural hazards, through managed retreat of development. The impact of extreme heat on communities and infrastructure networks can also be significant. More highly developed parts of the District can be exposed to extreme heat as a result of the urban heat island effect. Increasing the tree canopy is important to help reduce those impacts. The State Heatwave Sub Plan, which sits under the NSW State Emergency Management Plan, details the control and coordination arrangements across State and local government for the preparation for, response to, and immediate recovery from a heatwave. Current guidelines and planning controls also focus on minimising hazards and pollution by: • using buffers to limit exposure to hazardous and offensive industries, noise and odour • designing neighbourhoods and buildings that minimise exposure to noise and air pollution in the vicinity of busy rail lines and roads, including freight networks • cooling the landscape by retaining water and protecting, enhancing and extending the urban tree canopy to mitigate the urban heat island effect. Minimising land that interfaces with hazardous areas can reduce risks. Clearing vegetation around developments on bushfire-prone land can help reduce risks from bushfire, but must be balanced with protecting bushland, and its ecological processes and systems. Planning on bushfire prone land should consider risks and include hazard protection measures within the developable area. The Rural Fire Service requires new development to comply with the provisions of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006. Greater Sydney Commission | Draft North District Plan