Your property could be in a bushfire prone area, which will impact on the requirements for new buildings, building additions or redevelopment. Discover how you can find out the zoning for your property and what you can do to mitigate the impacts.
A bushfire prone area is land that can support a bush fire or is likely to be subject to bushfire attack.
Many properties within the Central Coast have been identified by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service as bushfire prone.
Where to find out about your property
You can identify if your property is classified as Bushfire Prone Land by:
- Check our interactive mapping tools to find out if your property is affected.
- Requesting a copy of a 149(2) Planning Certificate from Council. This document can be ordered from Council upon completion of a Certificate Application Form
The interactive maps will show types of vegetation:
- “Vegetation Category 1” (coloured orange) is the most hazardous, and refers to forest, woodlands, heath and wetlands greater than one hectare in size
- “Vegetation Category 2” (coloured yellow) refers to moist forests, scrublands, open woodlands, malle, grasslands and pockets of Category 1 vegetation of less than one hectare, and
- Land that directly adjoins bushland is classified as ‘Vegetation Buffer’ (coloured red). These are areas in which developments and people are most likely to be affected by a bushfire in the adjacent area.
Building in a Bush Fire Prone area
If you live in or are planning to build in a bush fire prone area, consult the Rural Fire Service for current information and resources.
If a property is identified as bushfire prone, habitable development proposals will need to consider mechanisms or methods to reduce fire risk for people and structures. This may include setbacks (buffers), construction methods, or a combination of both.
‘Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006’ is applicable to most bushfire prone land.
Recent changes in legislation have introduced a new policy known as the 10/50 Rule that may in certain situations allow some trees and vegetation to be removed without development consent. Information about Bushfire Prone Land matters can be viewed on the Rural Fire Service website.
Any proposed development involving habitable structures must be accompanied by a Bushfire Assessment Report when a Development Application is lodged at Council. It is possible that in some circumstances, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service may not allow Council to issue development consent because the bushfire risk is too great.
Understanding the terms 'bushfire prone' and 'bushfire risk'
Your property could be in a bushfire prone area, which will impact on the requirements for new buildings, building additions or redevelopment.
However, being in a bushfire prone area does not necessarily mean that you are at significant risk from bushfire, or that council will be doing mitigation works adjacent to your property.
Many residents consider engaging private bushfire consultants when preparing the Bushfire Assessment Report. Consultants can be found online or in the local telephone directory. Council is not in a position to recommend consultants.
Asset Protection Zones
Determine whether it is necessary to establish an Asset Protection Zone (APZ) on your property. Your local Rural Fire Service can help you with this assessment.
There are strict guidelines for development and maintenance of APZs. An environmental assessment must be completed by a suitably qualified person before you remove vegetation.
Hazard reduction burning
If you are on bushland acreage, you may need to consider doing hazard reduction burning.
Your local Rural Fire Service can help you determine whether this is necessary, and may be able to help with the burn.
Reporting a bushfire hazard
To alert us to a bushfire hazard on Council land, fill out this form to place a service request. All bushfire hazard complaints go to the NSW Rural Fire Service for independent assessment.
To alert someone to a bushfire hazard located on private property, contact:
The Lakes Team
Wyong Fire Control Centre
105 Arizona Rd, Charmhaven, NSW, 2263
Phone: 4394 3100
Alternatively you can fill out an online Bush Fire Hazard Complaint Form.