Floodplain Management

Flooding is a natural event which can occur as a result of heavy rainfall. Flooding can cause damage to buildings, infrastructure, utilities and impact the lives of those involved. For this reason the NSW Government now requires local councils to develop and implement Floodplain Risk Management Plans for all flood prone areas within the council boundaries.

The NSW Government’s Flood Prone Land Policy has the primary objective of “reducing the impact of flooding and flood liability on individual owners and occupiers of flood prone property and to reduce private and public losses resulting from floods, utilising ecologically positive methods wherever possible”.

With technical and financial assistance from the NSW Government, Willoughby Council is dedicated to reducing the impact of potential flooding, through mitigation works as well as implementing controls on planning and development in flood prone areas.

To develop Floodplain Risk Management Plans, the following tasks must be completed:

  1. Preparation of a Flood Study
  2. Preparation of a Floodplain Risk Management Study
  3. Development of a Floodplain Risk Management Plan
  4. Implementation of the Plan

The implementation of Floodplain Risk Management Plans will include flood mitigation measures, flood warnings, flood readiness and emergency management.

Catchments in Willoughby

The drainage system in the Willoughby Council area is made up of a number of catchments on the eastern and western sides of the Pacific Highway, which forms the drainage divide. Catchments on the west side of the Pacific Highway include Blue Gum Creek and Swaines Creek. On the east side of the Pacific Highway catchments include Scotts Creek, Sugarloaf Creek, Sailors Bay Creek and Flat Rock Creek.

In time Council will produce Floodplain Risk Management Plans for all of these catchments.

Map of areas subject to flood related development controls

To guide development of land in areas subject to flooding in the Willoughby City Local Government Area, pending the completion of Floodplain Risk Management Studies for each of the catchments (comprising the overall drainage system), Council engaged consultants to undertake an Overland Flooding Investigation of the entire Willoughby Council area. The resulting planning (development) controls aim at providing controls for the assessment of applications on land in flood prone areas and eventually reducing the risk to human life and damage to property caused by flooding. The flooding investigation identified areas at potential risk of flooding.

Where are we up to in the process of developing Floodplain Risk Management Plans?

Flood Study Status:

Flood Studies have been completed for the following catchments:

  • Flat Rock Creek (Mainstream flooding only)
  • Sailors Bay Creek
  • Scott’s Creek (Mainstream flooding only)
  • Sugarloaf Creek
  • Swaines Creek

The Blue Gum Creek draft flood study is currently being reviewed by Council prior to public exhibition.

Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Status:

Floodplain Risk Management Studies have been completed for the following catchments:

  • Sugarloaf Creek

In addition to the above detailed studies, Willoughby City Council engaged with consultants to undertake an Overland Flooding Investigation for its Local Government Area. The investigation provides preliminary information on flooding in areas that have been identified as being at risk of flooding.

Council is currently in the process of reviewing the Overland Flooding Investigation map. To see if your property is in an area subject to flood related planning controls, contact Council's Help and Service Centre on 9777 1000.

More information

Council is currently in the process of reviewing the Overland Flooding Investigation map. To see if your property is in an area subject to flood related planning controls, contact Council's Help and Service Centre on 9777 1000.

To find out more about Floodplain Management, floods and how to interpret the maps, please read the Frequently Asked Questions