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Special flood considerations clause

In January 2023, the department exhibited an explanation of intended effect (EIE), outlining proposed changes to strengthen planning rules to better protect and manage new development in areas that could be at risk during floods, through a special flood considerations clause (clause 5.22 of the Standard Instrument—Principal Local Environmental Plan).

The special flood considerations clause would apply to: 

  • sensitive and hazardous development, such as caravan parks, hospitals and seniors housing, between the flood planning area and the probable maximum flood level
  • development that is not sensitive or hazardous on land that the consent authority considers that, in a flood, may pose a particular risk to life and where people may need to evacuate or there are other safety concerns.

In 2021, 32 councils self-nominated to amend their LEPs by inserting the special flood considerations clause. The EIE sought feedback on whether to include this clause in the LEPs of these identified councils.

The EIE also proposed updating 11 councils’ LEPs with minor housekeeping changes.

In response to the recommendations of the independent 2022 NSW Flood Inquiry conducted by Mary O’Kane and Mick Fuller, the department also sought feedback on applying the clause to all NSW councils, by inserting the clause in either:

  • all NSW council LEPs; or
  • the State Environment Planning Policy (Resilience and Hazards) 2021.

The changes will apply additional planning controls to land at risk of flooding. This will help reduce the extent of property damage and potential loss of life and build greater resilience into our communities.

We welcomed feedback on the proposed changes from 17 January until 28 February 2023. All comments received during exhibition will be considered when finalising the amendments.

Exhibited documents

More information

For more information on flood planning, visit our website.

If you have any queries, you can contact us at [email protected]


  • On Exhibition

    The consultation is open for public comment.

  • Under Consideration

    We'll be reviewing what you told us.

  • Made and Finalised

    The final outcomes of this consultation will be documented here.

Consultation period


More information

Exhibiting agency or agencies: DPE
Exhibition location: NSW Planning Portal