Boat Ramps and Pontoons

Authorisations required

The construction of private structures (including boat ramps, jetties and pontoons) within Crown or Council-owned waterways, requires two separate forms of authorisation:

Development approval for the structure, in the form of development consent.  Further information regarding building approval requirements is provided below; and

Licensing for the occupation of the waterway, in the form of a license agreement between the owner of the structure and the owner of the land.  Depending on the waterway, either Ballina Shire Council or the Crown is the owner of the waterway.  The Council owned waterways are:

  • Ballina Quays Canals
  • Banyanda Lake
  • Endeavour Lake

Information regarding the licensing of private structures within Council owned waterways is provided in the following fact sheet:

The licensing of structures within the Richmond River, North Creek and the Pacific Ocean are administered through Crown Lands.  Information about licensing waterway structures with the Crown can be accessed here:

Development requirements

Boat Ramps

All boat ramp structures in Ballina Shire require Development Consent and Construction Certificate (CC) issue  prior to the commencement of works.

 Boat ramps which potentially affect or disturb any sea grass beds may require referral to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) for their comment/concurrence. In these instances, the proposal is regarded as Integrated Development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EPAA) 1979 as amended. An integrated referral attracts additional NSW Government referral and Council administration fees.

Council has a standard design which is to be used for boat ramp construction and can be accessed by clicking here.

Consideration should be given to the location of boat ramps and neighbouring properties so as to ensure equitable access is maintained to the canal.

Pontoons and Jetties

Boat Ramps

Similarly, pontoon structures in Ballina Shire require both Development Consent and Construction Certificate issue prior to commencement of works. As stated above, pontoons which will affect sea grass beds may require referral to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). In this instance, the development is regarded as Integrated Development under the EPAAct and additional referral and Council administrative fees will apply.

Pontoon and Jetty structures located within the Ballina Quays and Banyanda Estate areas are to be a maximum length of 18 metres as measured from the revetment wall/kerb line to the extreme pontoon edge. The first three metres of the pontoon structure is permitted to be a fixed structure with piles, while the remaining 15 metres must be floating from a demountable pivot point attached to the 3 metre fixed section of the pontoon. Bracing piles are permitted within the 3 metre zone as measured from the revetment wall outside edge, however no additional piling is permitted beyond this zone.

Structural engineer designed bracing/piling details for the pontoon, addressing any forces from wave and tidal action are required to be submitted with the Development Application. 

 Consideration should be given to the location of pontoons and neighbouring properties so as to ensure equitable access is maintained to the canal.

For any enquiries please contact Council's Building Services Section on 02 6686 1415.

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