About the draft Strategy

    What is the Scenic Landscape Strategy?

    The draft Scenic Landscape Strategy aims to protect and enhance the scenic landscapes of the Tweed Shire by:

    • Exploring which views and landscapes are most valued by the community and why;
    • Providing a framework and guidelines to support land use planning and development decisions; and
    • Offering an online Interactive Mapping Tool with mapping data and functions to help applicants identify important scenic views and prepare a visual impact assessment for development applications.  

    Why has the Strategy been prepared?

    The Tweed is a much visited and fast growing part of New South Wales recognised for its beautiful natural environment and scenic landscape. It is therefore important to consider the potential impact that increased development could have on the Tweed’s scenic landscapes.

    As a land use manager and primary consent authority for development, Council plays an important role in the protection and conservation of the Tweed’s scenic landscapes through the preparation of local environmental plans, development control plans, strategic planning, development assessment and ongoing community education.

    Where does the draft Strategy apply?

    This draft strategy applies to all land and all proposals in the Tweed Shire that require development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

    The draft Strategy applies to scenic landscapes seen from publicly accessible locations. It does not address view sharing between private property.

    Who is the draft Strategy prepared for?

    The draft strategy will assist Council, landowners, land managers, developers, business and community to better understand:

    • How scenic landscapes are defined and identified in the Tweed;
    • Priorities, threats and principles for protection and management; and
    • How to evaluate potentially adverse or beneficial visual impacts from proposed land-use activity and development using a consistent and transparent process.

    How will the draft Strategy be used?

    The draft strategy can be used in a number of ways including:

    • As a guideline for consistent assessment new development or redevelopment
    • At the planning proposal (rezoning) stage for new land uses and their associated development;
    • To educate the landowners, developers and the broader community about the benefits of preserving and managing the Tweed’s scenic landscapes. 

    What are the components of the draft Strategy?

    The draft strategy is made up of the following parts:

    Part 1: Strategic context – establishes the strategy’s aims and objectives and defines scenic landscapes. It also establishes the alignment of the strategy with relevant local, national and international policies and compliance with statutory requirements.

    Part 2: Tweed landscape character assessment – describes the landscape features, viewing locations and scenic views of the Tweed. It also explains susceptibility, management principles and technical mapping.

    Part 3: Scenic management principles – establish the desired outcomes for ongoing protection and enhancement efforts of identified scenic landscapes throughout the Tweed.

    Part 4: Visual impact assessment (VIA) – provides a process that supports an applicant,  and Council as consent authority, to consider any potential impacts a proposed development may have on scenic views and landscapes, and to identify suitable measures that mitigate or manage these impacts, and achieve the Scenic Management Principles.

    Interactive mapping tool – To support the landscape character assessment and the VIA, Council has developed an online tool to assist applicants to search a land parcel (project site) to identify any views or landscapes that may be impacted visually by a proposed development or land use activity. 

    How will the strategy benefit the community, stakeholders and planning and development outcomes?

    The strategy will benefit landowners, applicants, and the planning and development industry by providing clear guidelines and criteria for assessing potential visual impact of land use planning or development proposals. The Strategy’s framework, Visual Impact Assessment and mapping tool offers applicants with helpful resources and clear direction about what is required when lodging a development application or re-zoning proposal. 

    The strategy will benefit the broader community by encouraging new development or land use activities to be integrated with and complement existing valued visual landscape attributes and aims to promote the rehabilitation of areas that have the potential to be more visually pleasing. 

Preparing the strategy

    How has the Strategy been prepared?

    In 2016 and 2017, an assessment of the character and significance of landscapes through the Tweed Shire was completed. Throughout the Study a broad cross-section of people and community groups provided information and feedback on valued landscapes through the shire.

    Key stages in the development of the draft Strategy:

    • Research and analysis of legislation and policies that protect and manage landscapes and their attributes, and assessment of risks or pressures;
    • Review of policies or management practices specific to the Tweed’s scenic landscapes;
    • Consultation with stakeholders and community about their landscape and scenic quality values, and what views and viewing locations are preferred;
    • Landscape character assessment of the Tweed’s visual attributes and elements;
    • Spatial analyses and mapping of landscape character, priority views and viewsheds
    • Research best practise Visual Impact Assessment methodologies
    • Development of Visual Impact Assessment Methodology
    • Development of Shire-wide Scenic Management Principles
    • Development of specific management principles and objectives for distinct Landscape Character Units.
    • Development of Interactive Mapping tool functionality.

What Council is seeking comment on and supporting policies

    Additional supporting documents in relation to the Draft Scenic Landscape Strategy on public exhibition

    The Draft Scenic Landscape Strategy is supported by two related land use policies. These establish a coordinated and consistent approach for all owners, managers and developers of land to consider and apply design, construction and ongoing management measures to protect or enhance the Tweed’s scenic landscapes for the future.

    1. Draft amendment to Tweed Development Control Plan (DCP) 2008
    Section A1 Part A Preliminaries
    Scenic Protection

    The draft amendment aims to link the Tweed DCP 2008 Section A1 Part A to the draft Scenic Landscape Strategy in the following ways:

    • Aims to address potential impacts of residential development on views from publicly accessible spaces;
    • Introduces the principles of view-sharing; and
    • Provides for the consideration of the broader impacts of development on surrounding landscape character and quality during the development assessment process.

    The Tweed Development Control Plan 2008 is relevant to the following local environmental plans:

    The draft DCP amendment is exhibited in accordance with Clause 18 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

    2. Council Policy Statement
    This policy statement explains Council’s position to preserve the scenic values of the Tweed, and to ensure this is taken into account at all levels of decision-making concerning the use, modification or development of land, whether carried out by the private or public sector.

    The policy provides principles and an evaluation guideline that is consistent with the draft Scenic Landscape Strategy.

    What is Council seeking comment on?

    You are invited to provide comment on the Draft Scenic Landscape Strategy and supporting policies including:

    • Tweed Landscape Character Assessment and descriptive narratives;
    • The scenic management principles proposed to protect and manage the Tweed’s valued landscapes;
    • The Interactive Mapping tool used to identify important scenic landscapes, viewing points and viewsheds;
    • The proposed method and requirements to conduct a Visual Impact Assessment for planning and development assessment.
    • The draft amendment to the Tweed Development Control Plan 2008 and draft Council Policy Statement.

    Note: The intent of the exhibition is not to capture additional viewing situations, at this stage.Over an 18 month preparation period for draft strategy, Council in consultation with the community and key stakeholders captured and identified 51 priority viewing locations and viewsheds through the Tweed. These are listed in the Draft Strategy and can be viewed using the Interactive Mapping Tool. An ongoing review of viewsheds will be conducted as more information is captured through visual impact assessments performed for development assessment and planning activities.

Have Your Say

    Have Your Say

    All documents will be on public exhibition from 17 April to 19 June, 2019.

    Have your say:

    In person:   We invite you to attend a Community Conversation to speak with planning staff. Visit www.yoursaytweed.com.au/scenic-landscape-strategy to find a date and time that suits you.

    Online:  To provide your feedback and for further information about the strategy and supporting policies or to test the Online Interactive Mapping tool visit www.yoursaytweed.com.au/scenic-landscape-strategy

    Should you require any further information, contact Council’s Strategic Planning and Urban Design team on (02) 6670 2503. 

    Hard copies available at:

    The draft strategy and supporting policies are available in hard copy at locations throughout the Shire: