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Council guidelines for landscaping

Garden advice
Council guidelines for landscaping
Council requirements for residential landscapingCouncil requirements for residential landscaping
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All Green
All Green
October 7, 2019
minute read

Understanding the residential landscaping requirements in Melbourne

Buying a new home is an incredibly exciting time in your life. You can finally start putting down roots in a place that's truly your own.

When you own your home, one thing you might not have considered until now is that you'll be responsible for ensuring your garden meets the landscaping guidelines for your area. There are very specific rules for residential landscaping in Melbourne, so you need to make sure you understand them and keep your garden up to scratch.

At All Green Nursery & Garden, we have everything you need to make sure your garden looks beautiful, and remains compliant with local guidelines. We can help you understand your area's landscaping guidelines and supply all the plants and products you need.

Find out more about how the team at All Green can help you

What are the council guidelines for landscaping?

council guidelines for landscaping

Each local council will have their own guidelines for how you need to landscape your new garden, and you should receive a copy of all the documentation. Landscaping guidelines are usually very detailed, and if you don't already have two green thumbs, they can be quite confusing.

Residential landscaping guidelines for Melbourne councils usually cover the following topics:

  • Whether tree planting is required or optional
  • How and where to plant trees on the property
  • Matching the tree size to the available space
  • Recommended species of trees and plants
  • Requirements for native and exotic tree and plant species
  • Establishment methods and maintenance for newly planted trees and gardens
  • Directions on drought tolerant plants

For the specific requirements for your area, you'll need to check with your local council. You can also get advice from a qualified landscape architect or bring your guidelines into your local All Green nursery for advice.

[feature_link]Want to find out what council jurisdiction your home lie within? Visit the Victorian government's Know your Council resource.[/feature_link]

Why do we need landscaping guidelines?

Local councils have an interest in preserving the character and aesthetic of the area, so landscaping guidelines ensure that all homes in the area look pleasing and appropriate. Where the council also includes environmentally sensitive areas, such as coastlines, their landscaping guidelines may also include Vegetation Protection Overlay which prevents you from removing existing trees without approval.

In 2017, the Victorian Government also introduced new regulations for the minimum garden area for new property developments in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and General Residential Zone. The minimum garden area size depends on the size of the block as follows:

  • 25% garden area for blocks of 400-500 square metres
  • 30% garden area for blocks of 501-650 square metres
  • 35% garden area for blocks of more than 650 square metres

While this regulation won't impact you unless you're planning to renovate or subdivide your property, it's worth keeping in mind. The purpose of this regulation is the same as council landscaping guidelines: to protect the natural aesthetic and open garden characteristic of our cities and suburbs.

The benefits of landscaping guidelines

As a homeowner, it may seem like all these rules are overly restrictive, but there are some very important benefits you should keep in mind.

Firstly, you should want to live in a home with a beautifully landscaped garden anyway, and these guidelines mean you don't have to figure it all out on your own. Most council guidelines will include sample landscaping plans or other pieces of advice to help you achieve a beautiful garden.

Secondly, these guidelines make sure that all homeowners in the area are pulling their weight when it comes to landscaping. This helps to ensure the community looks great as well as helping to boost property values in the area.

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