Land use planning – flood information relevant to development
  • Last updated:
  • 20 Jan 2022

The Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme seeks to minimise the risk of harm to people, property, economic activity and the environment from flooding.

Land use planning flood maps are an effective tool to mitigate and manage flood risks.

Land use planning involves managing the use and development of land to benefit the whole community. Therefore, effective land use planning identifies possible risks and/or vulnerabilities and seeks to reduce the impact on the community.

Updated land use planning flood maps enable professionals delivering and planning development or building works to understand how flooding and overland flow may challenge their plans. It also enables and encourages good design to avoid or accommodate these challenges.

Council’s Land Use Planning flood mapping can be accessed via MyMaps.

Read on to learn more about each of council's Land Use Planning Flooding Mapping products. Please refer to the downloadable guide and how-to video to help you navigate the flood maps.

The Land Use Planning flood mapping products that may be relevant to the planning scheme, now or in the future, are as follows:

Defined Flood Event

The Defined Flood Event Map represents a flooding and storm tide event with one per cent chance of occurring each year. The map is based on planning horizons set at the year 2100. As such, the mapping makes allowances for climate change which includes 0.8m sea level rise and 20 per cent increase in rainfall intensity.

The Defined Flood Event historically has been the basis for land use planning, however in 2012, the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommended a fundamental shift in the approach to planning for floods, the focus on just one flood should be abandoned as floods come in all sizes. A proper approach to flood risk should consider a range.

The Defined Flood Event Map remains a useful map for comparative purposes when mapping updates occur.

The map also remains relevant, despite the transition to a risk-based approach to land use planning, because flood levels from the Defined Flood Event Map are used to inform building floor levels and flood immunity requirements for development and infrastructure.

Flood Risk

Council has prepared a new Flood Risk Map to inform the preparation of the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project.

The map considers flood events of lesser and greater magnitude than the Defined Flood Event and flood behaviour information such as depth, velocity and hazard.

The Flood Risk mapping has been prepared in a manner consistent with State Planning Policy (July 2017) and Integrating state interests in a planning scheme – Guidance for local governments (May 2021).

As the Flood Risk map considers flood events that are larger than the Defined Flood Event, the extent of the Flood Risk Map is greater than the Defined Flood Event. However, areas of the Flood Risk Map that sit outside the Defined Flood Event are generally identified as low risk or as other areas of the floodplain (very low risk).

From a flooding perspective, areas that have low flood risk are generally acceptable for development.

This map can be used by the community to learn more about the flood risk that exists on their property, or by prospective property buyers seeking to do their due diligence. The Flood Risk Maps are a centralised resource that represents a property’s risk for floods of different sizes.

This mapping complements council’s Emergency Preparedness Flood Maps.

Residents and landowners are encouraged to familiarise themselves with our Emergency Preparedness Flood Mapping to be wholly informed of how flooding may affect their property.

Flood Storage Preservation Area

The Flood Storage Preservation Area Map is a new map. It has been prepared in response to actions in council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy (ELS) and will inform the preparation of the new Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme Project.

The term Flood Storage Preservation Area is referenced in the ELS Flooding and Stormwater Policy Positions.

The Flood Storage Preservation Area Map shows where flood storage preservation is intended to occur and also differentiates regional flood storage areas. Regional flood storage areas are large flood storage areas located upstream from existing core urban areas. The Flood Storage Preservation Area Map is based on the Defined Flood Event with existing flood affected properties in urban coastal communities removed.

What you can do

Council is currently seeking feedback on how easy this flood mapping and information is to navigate and understand. Please view the factsheets, FAQs and how-to videos to help you explore the mapping.

Council encourages the community and industry professionals to familiarise themselves with the updated flood mapping and information.

If you are making changes to your property, such as major building or renovations, ask your planning professional to check your property using our Land Use Planning flood mapping.

Up to date flood information helps industry professionals delivering and planning development or building works understand how flooding and overland flow may challenge development or building works, and design solutions to avoid or work around these challenges. This helps build strong and resilient communities.

More information

The Planning Scheme Flood Hazard Overlay Map actually has two distinct purposes. The main purpose is to identify when the Flood Hazard Overlay Code applies, however it also serves the purpose of being the designated flood hazard area for building regulation purposes.

This map was originally created in 2010 for the 2014 Sunshine Coast Council Planning Scheme. The map is administered as part of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme and as such, is not readily able to be updated to reflect latest and best available information.

Council is now considering a separate Flood Hazard Area for Building Regulation Purposes Map. This new map will provide additional details relevant to building works, not included in the planning scheme mapping, such as overland flow paths, drainage and freeboard. This map can be regularly updated as more information becomes available.

Find out more about the Flood Hazard Area for Building Regulation Purposes Map.