Publication Details

J. Sheehan, A. H. Kelly, K. Rayner & J. Brown, 'Coastal Climate Change and Transferable Development Rights' (2018) 35 (1) Environmental and Planning Law Journal 87-101.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Lawbook Co.


Coastal Australia is particularly vulnerable to increasingly frequent violent storm events coupled with anticipated rise in sea level. Consequent risks starkly underscore crucial coastal land policies and statutory planning documents. However, current questioning in the State of New South Wales (NSW) of such public instruments has uncovered a critical link between flood risk mapping and land-use planning, property values and, in particular, inundation propensity of various coastal lands. A range of coastal properties will no longer be capable of meaningful utilisation, coalescing in an impending collision between settled Australian property law and property rights. The use of transferable development rights (TDRs) to achieve climate change adaptation and risk amelioration is a planning tool which this article explores as part of the compendium of tools to deal with increasingly impacted coastal lands. The potential of TDRs is canvassed in a case study on a fragile suburban beach, namely Collaroy, in northern Sydney.