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New NSW Coastal Design Guidelines released


Cover image of new NSW coastal design guidelines


We are pleased to share the finalised NSW Coastal Design Guidelines 2023, following public exhibition from July to September last year. The guidelines replace the previous NSW Coastal Design Guidelines 2003.

The NSW coastline is an amazing natural resource, and we need to protect it. The NSW Coastal Design Guidelines provide a framework on how to do this and can be used by councils, developers and anyone involved in designing coastal places.

The guidelines will help councils and proponents to design coastal places that reflect and celebrate the local character and community, while protecting the natural and cultural features that make the NSW coast special.

The guidelines will also assist councils and other authorities in planning for current and future natural hazards, and designing spaces that balance environmental, economic, and cultural needs and respect Country and Aboriginal heritage.

How will this affect coastal councils and planning proponents?

All planning proposals in the NSW coastal zone must include provisions that give effect to, and are consistent with, the NSW Coastal Design Guidelines 2023.

Planning proposals must now also use the Planning Proposal Checklist to demonstrate consistency with the guidelines.

Advice on best practice coastal urban design

The guidelines also provide advice on best practice urban design within coastal areas. Their use is optional and can be used by designers, architects, landscapers and home builders to support the design of projects in the coastal zone.

In response to stakeholder feedback, we have simplified and clarified the requirements and specified where in the coastal zone they apply.

We have also published case studies and an example of how to use the planning proposal checklist, to help users understand how the guidelines can be applied.

One of the case studies features is on Wagonga Inlet Living Shoreline project – a project our MEMS staff have been involved in. You can check out that case study and others here.

A summary of stakeholder feedback and a copy of the submission report is available on the NSW Planning Portal.

You can view the guidelines via the NSW Planning website, our Coastal Design Guidelines Review project page or directly download the PDF here.

The Coastal Design Guidelines Review was conducted by NSW Planning and funded via the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy.

If you have any questions or would like further information on this project, contact the team at coastal@planning.nsw.gov.au.


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