Planning and building rules for land affected by natural hazards

You must follow certain rules to develop in areas of the Northern Territory (NT) affected by natural hazards.

These include:

  • cyclones
  • storm surges
  • riverine flooding.

Rules for building and developing in these areas are set out in the:

Parts of the NT are prone to cyclones from November to May.

Cyclones usually affect coastal areas up to 50km inland from the sea.

Cyclones are dangerous and can produce:

  • destructive winds
  • heavy rainfall
  • flooding
  • storm surges.

Read more about cyclones, including home preparation and evacuation plannings, on the SecureNT website.

Planning approval

There are no planning requirements related directly to cyclones.

However, there are requirements for storm surges associated with cyclones.

Building approval

You must have building approval from a building certifier to build in a declared building control area.

All buildings in declared building control areas must comply with the NCC.

The NCC identifies parts of the Territory that are prone to cyclones.

It contains specific provisions to ensure buildings in these areas can resist the effects of severe wind.

Your building certifier will tell you how to achieve these requirements.

Read about work that requires permits.

A storm surge is a rise above the normal high-tide water level during a severe storm.

It can cause flooding along the coast and up to several kilometres inland in low-lying areas.

Storm surge is caused by strong onshore winds and pressure changes in the atmosphere usually as a result of cyclones.

Read more about storm surges, including living in a storm surge area, on the SecureNT website.

To view storm surge inundation maps, go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website.

Planning approval

You must have planning approval to develop land at risk from storm surge if your land is zoned under the NT Planning Scheme.

Development in these areas must comply with the ‘land subject to storm surge’ overlay.

The overlay applies additional requirements to developments in primary and secondary storm surge areas to minimise:

  • risk to people
  • damage to property
  • cost to the general community.

Read more about overlays including how to check if an overlay applies to your land.

Building approval

You must have building approval from a building certifier to build in a declared building control area.

Your building certifier will tell you how to achieve the requirements of the Building Act 1993 and Regulations, including the NCC.

Read about work that requires permits.

Riverine flooding occurs when heavy rainfall causes waters in rivers or creeks to break their banks.

Read more about flooding, including home preparation and evacuation plannings, on the SecureNT website.

View flood plain and flood warning maps on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website.

Planning approval

You must have planning approval to develop land at risk from riverine flooding if your land is zoned under the NT Planning Scheme.

These areas are subject to the ‘land subject to flooding’ overlay.

The overlay applies additional requirements to developments in flood-prone areas to minimise:

  • risk to people
  • damage to property
  • cost to the general community.

Read more about overlays including how to check if an overlay applies to your land.

Building approval

You must have building approval from a building certifier to build in a declared building control area.

Your building certifier will tell you how to achieve the requirements of the Building Act 1993 and Regulations, including the NCC.

Read about work that requires permits.

Last updated: 09 September 2020

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