Coastal Inundation

Woollahra Municipal Council is responsible for local planning and land management for some 22km of foreshore land along Sydney Harbour. Council has the responsibility to ensure that the risks associated with wave action and storm tide inundation from the harbour are properly considered for all development applications.

To establish and maintain a consistent approach to the management of these areas, Council has established Estuary Planning Levels that can be readily applied to any section of the foreshore. These levels allow property owners to set appropriate floor levels for proposed structures and/or property levels such that the new structures are flood-proofed and to help reduce the impacts of foreshore inundation.

Estuary Planning Levels reflect the likely extreme water levels along the Woollahra foreshore of Sydney Harbour that generally occur during an intense ocean storm (that may occur, on average, once in a generation or less frequently).

Estuary Planning Levels account for and calculate the following:

  • The 100-years ARI regional storm tide level
  • Local wind and wave setup within Sydney Harbour
  • Wave run-up and overtopping of the foreshore
  • A sea level rise factor of 0.9m
  • A 0.3m freeboard to allow for any uncertainties primarily associated with local wave and wind action

Council engaged a consultant, Cardno to prepare a report dated November 2013 on Estuary Planning Levels for the Woollahra Municipality. This report individually identifies all properties which are impacted by coastal inundation and a unique EPL has been calculated for each property.

You can view the EPL Report(PDF, 10MB) and the Estuary Planning Levels Property Database.(XLSX, 781KB)

Estuary Planning Levels are incorporated into the Stormwater Chapter(PDF, 915KB) of the Woollahra Development Control Plan 2015.

Please note information on planning levels may be revised from time to time.