Environment & Waste

Beaches and Coastal Management Planning

Coastal Management in Gosford City

Gosford City Council has a strong tradition of planning for natural hazards. Council takes its responsibilities for planning seriously and has sought to bring together experts, planners and the community to deal with the complex issues. However, these issues are not certain, nor does planning ensure perfect outcomes.

The primary purpose of coastal management planning is to describe what can be done, and by whom, to address management issues in the coastal zone. Management issues include risks to public safety and built assets, pressures on coastal ecosystems, and the community’s use of the coastal zone.

Council recently finalised the planning process and updating of plans developed in the 1990s. The Gosford Beaches Coastal Zone Management Plan was adopted by council on 8 December 2015 to improve management of our coastal risks, while also providing opportunities for development.

Coastal Zone Management Planning for Gosford City's beaches

Over the past 5 years council has undertaken a rigorous process to review, update and amalgamate previous Coastal Management Plans developed in the 1990s. This process is described below:

1. Risk assessment - Coastal Processes and Hazard Definition Study

Coastal environments are dynamic, so it is important that coastal risk assessments are reviewed over time. Council engaged coastal engineering experts to examine and assess the coastal processes and hazards that impact the coastline between Patonga and Forresters Beach. This included consideration of beach erosion, shoreline recession, sand drift, coastal inundation, stormwater erosion, slope instability and climate change.

An assessment was then made of the risks to life and property posed by coastal hazards.  Risks were assessed with consideration to current and future conditions, and included the natural processes that occur on our beaches, as well as the projected impacts of climate changes. This coastal risk assessment was undertaken based on the state-wide Sea Level Rise projections. Council has since revised its projections down and applied them into the revised Development Control Plan Chapter.

Council endorsed the Open Coast and Broken Bay Beaches Coastal Processes and Hazard Definition Study (CPHDS) report on Tuesday 25 March, 2014.

Copies of the CPHDS Report and associated coastal hazard mapping can be found in the following links:

Open Coast and Broken Bay Beaches Coastal Processes and Hazard Definition Study

Patonga Coastal Hazard Map

Pearl Beach Coastal Hazard Map

Umina Ocean Beach Coastal Hazard Map

Putty Killcare Beach Coastal Hazard Map

Macmasters Copacabana Beach Coastal Hazard Map

Avoca and North Avoca Beach Coastal Hazard Map

Terrigal and Wamberal Beach Coastal Hazard Map

Forresters Beach Coastal Hazard Map

Application of new risk information

Having received updated risk information, council has a duty of care to consider this information in relevant decision-making processes.

The updated hazard information is to be considered for relevant development assessment processes and strategic planning within the affected coastal zone areas.

When council has information which may affect a buyer’s decision to purchase a property, it could be considered negligent if it withheld this information.

​For existing owners, council wants to ensure they are aware of the information pertaining to their property, should they wish to undertake designs to redevelop. 

On 22 March 2016 council adopted a revised Chapter 6.2 Coastal Frontage of Gosford’s Development Control Plan (DCP) 2013. This new chapter came into effect on 15 April 2016.

The new chapter was developed in consultation with community, and provides a balanced approach which considers a range of factors and maintains an acceptable level of risk. The revised chapter incorporates flexibility so that development potential on coastal fronting properties is maintained, while also planning responsibly for future coastal risk, including sea level rise.  

View the Revised DCP Chapter 6.2 Coastal Frontage

2. Coastal Zone Management Study

Council endorsed the Open Coast and Broken Bay Beaches Coastal Zone Management Study at its meeting on Wednesday 26 May 2015.

The Study presents a series of management options for the beaches between Forresters and Patonga. Options have been selected through consideration of coastal hazards, community feedback, and the requirement to achieve a reasonable balance between any conflicting uses of the coastal zone.

Council actively sought input from affected property owners and the wider community in the development of the Draft Study. Feedback obtained through formal and peripheral engagement activities has provided direction on preferred management approaches, and assisted to ensure all relevant factors were sufficiently considered and integrated into the planning process.

The Coastal Zone Management Study has been developed in line with the legislative and policy framework for managing coastline hazards, and its development financially supported by the NSW Governments Coastal Management Program.

The study sets the strategic platform for council’s decision-making process in relation to management of coastal areas, and will guide council in producing a Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).

View the Open Coast and Broken Bay Beaches Coastal Zone Management Study 2015

Appendix 1

Putty/Killcare Beach Vegetation Mapping

Pearl/Umina/Ocean Beach Vegetation Mapping

Patonga Beach Vegetation Mapping

Macmasters/Copacabana Beach Vegetation Mapping

Avoca Beach Vegetation Mapping

Terrigal/Wamberal/Forresters Beach Vegetation Mapping

Appendix 2 – Beach Visitation Statistics 

Appendix 3 – Coastal Hazard Summary

Appendix 4 – Coastal Hazard Mapping (see above)

Appendix 5 – Summary of Public Submissions

3. Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP)

Gosford Beaches Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) has received certification from the Minister for Environment having been prepared in accordance with the Coastal Protection Act 1979.

This plan relates to the area of the former Gosford City Council

The CZMP describes how council, other public authorities and property owners can and should respond to coastal hazards. It focuses on:

  • Risks to public safety and built assets;
  • Pressures on coastal ecosystems; and
  • Community uses of the coastal zone.

The updated Coastline Management Plan provides a strategic policy framework for coordinated, integrated and ecologically sustainable development of sections of the coastline affected by the identified hazards, and the protection of fragile coastal environments into the future. Importantly, the CZMP also provides the foundation for the development of appropriate planning controls for the coastal zone.

Gosford Beaches Coastal Zone Management Plan

4. Community Engagement (underway and ongoing)

A quality CZMP depended largely on the knowledge, involvement and support of the local community. Accordingly, community consultation and participation has been an important part of the planning process.

Council aimed to ensure that:

  1. The community is provided with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the coastal management issues and the planning process; and
  2. Community concerns and aspirations are considered during the planning process.

All management strategies were developed in conjunction with affected landowners and the wider community during parts two and three of this planning process (outlined above).

Development Control Plan 2013 - Chapter 6.2 - Coastal Frontage

This plan applies to all land within the City of Gosford which is affected by the coastal processes on the section of coastline from Forresters Beach to Patonga.

The purpose of the DCP is to provide detailed guidelines for the development of the land with regard to minimising the risks associated with building on land which has frontage to a coastal beach or cliff.

An amendment to Gosford Development Control Plan 2013 has been prepared for Chapter 6.2 Coastal Frontage.  The purpose of the amendment is to align Chapter 6.2 Coastal Frontage of Gosford Development Control Plan 2013 with the recently adopted Gosford Beaches Coastal Zone Management Plan. The Draft Chapter provides a streamlined, simplified and flexible approach to managing land use on areas subjected to coastal hazards.

Draft Patonga Crown Reserves and Dark Corner Cottages Plan of Management

The Draft Patonga Crown Reserves and Dark Corner Cottages Plan of Management (PoM) encompasses the foreshore extending from the eastern side of Patonga Creek to the north to the Dark Corner Cottages to the east. The Patonga Caravan and Camping Area is also included in the draft PoM.

For more information including Terms of Reference and meeting minutes for the Community Reference Panel (CRP) see the Draft Patonga Crown Reserves and Dark Corner Cottages PoM page.

Cliff Line Hazard Definition Study at Tudibaring Headland,Copacabana

Council engaged Shirley Consulting to undertake a Cliff Line Hazard Definition Study at Tudibaring Headland, Copacabana in 1996.

View the Cliff Line Hazard Definition Study - Tudibaring Headland Copacabana.

Other relevant links:

Coastal Management Options Fact Sheet

Coastal Zone Management Planning Fact Sheet

Coastal Processes Fact Sheet

Risk Assessment Outcomes Fact Sheet

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