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Coastal seawall construction

This type of application is associated with the construction of new, or the repair of old sea walls.

The mean high water spring (MHWS) needs to be established to determine whether the assessment manager is the City of Gold Coast or the State Government. The location of MHWS is taken to be the average over defined period, generally over the last 17 years, and is not based on a single event.

Seawalls constructed within the local government tidal area, i.e. the area 50 metres seaward from the MHWS / high-water mark (HWM) are prescribed tidal work. The City is the assessment manager and must assess the application against the prescribed tidal work code in Schedule 4a of the Coastal Protection and Management Regulation 2003. The City Plan can only be applied to the extent stated in the code (limited to character and amenity provisions and planning scheme standards that are more stringent than the State's code).

Seawalls constructed above MHWS/HWM will either be assessable development under schedule 3 pt. 1 table 4 item 5(b) Work within a coastal management district (CMD) or tidal work (on the basis that it is work designed to be exposed to shoreline fluctuations). In both cases, unless the application involves other development which is assessable under the City Plan, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science will be the assessment manager. The Department of Environment and Science will assess the application against the matters set out in s104 of the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995, the State Coastal Management Plan and the South East Queensland Regional Coastal Management Plan.

Where the State is the assessment manager for a sea wall, the constructing authority will need to check whether access to the beach area to undertake the construction works is required. If so, a request to ‘Permit to interfere with a road for the purposes of constructing a sea wall’ is required from the City.

More information

For more information, view our resources and factsheets for constructing seawalls.

Our sand excavation and beach nourishment factsheet includes information relating to City Plan regulations for coastal property developments.

Refer to the forms and applications section below for links to the forms and to apply online.

For application fees see our Register of fees and charges

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