Coastal management

WaterAs a coastal Council with 3 beaches and cliff zones, we are working to protect our coastal environments from natural and urban impacts.

About our coastline

The Waverley coastal environment encompasses a 2.5-kilometre stretch of coastline from Bondi Beach in the north to Bronte Beach in the south. Between these beaches are intertidal protection areas (IPAs), which are conservation zones to provide protection to selected rocky shore habitats and their species.

Many people live along or near the cliffs and beaches, and they attract millions of visitors each year.

Land uses along this coastline include residential, commercial, recreational and bushland. Read more about our beautiful beaches.



Current pressures on the coastal environment

  • Increased numbers of visitors each year
  • Increased urban land development
  • Residential population growth
  • Natural influences - wave, wind and tidal processes
  • Major storm events and sea level rise, likely to increase with climate change

Coastal risks

As a result of human and natural influences, coastal hazards include:

  • Erosion – The wearing away of the land by the action of natural forces.
  • Coastal or tidal inundation - The flooding of coastal lands by ocean waters, which is generally caused by large waves and elevated water levels associated with severe storms and the peak of the high tide.
  • Geotechnical instability - Cliff or slope instability.
The details of these identified coastal risks can be found in the Coastal Hazards, Risks and Vulnerability Study which was carried out in 2012.

Council Management Plans and Policies

To address these risks, Waverley Council has several management plans and policies in place to conserve and protect our coastal systems for our community to continue to enjoy.

  • Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan

    The Local Environmental Plan (LEP) is the principal environmental planning instrument used by councils to regulate land use and influences planning and development decisions within the Local Government Area (LGA). The Development Control Plan (DCP) supports the controls outlined in the LEP with more specific planning and design guidelines relevant to the Waverley LGA, including built form controls, parking, biodiversity and tree preservation, signage, heritage conservation and safety.

  • Coastal Risk Management Policy

    Identifies high risk areas of inundation and geotechnical instability, research conducted and how we are addressing hazards to better manage our coast.

NSW Government legislation and policies

The NSW Government has a range of legislation, regulation and policies that relate to coastal risk management as listed below:

Find out more

If you are building or renovating along a cliff-line and are concerned about policies that may affect your development, email our Senior Environment Officer or phone 9083 8176.

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