Draft Residential Nature Strip Policy & Guidelines

Council to consider final documents in early 2023.


Thank you to everyone who provided feedback into the development of Surf Coast Shire Council’s new Residential Nature Strip Policy and Guidelines.

We are collating input from 113 people, with the diverse range of insights and views to help shape the final documents.  

Council aims to consider the final policy and guidelines at a Council meeting in early 2023.

The initial intention was for the final documents to be considered by Council in December, however the high response rate to our consultation and the detailed feedback have contributed to it being moved to the new year.

We wanted to keep you informed about the timeline and to thank you for your patience.

About the draft Policy and Guidelines

Residential nature strips are public land, owned and controlled by Council and part of the road reserve. Residents also play a role in maintenance, including mowing and weeding.

The policy and guidelines aim to provide clear direction for property owners and residents about permitted uses, including approved surface treatments, plant heights, growing of edible plants, installations and maintenance responsibilities.

The policy is based on five principles. That nature strips:

  • Provide a public space which contributes to sense of place and community.
  • Should be safe and accessible spaces.
  • Contribute to healthy environment for people, plants and animals.
  • Can play an active role in supporting Council’s Climate Change response.
  • Play a role for location of essential services.

Under the draft policy it is proposed that:

  • Hard surfaces such as gravel or mulch are no longer permitted as they lead to more stormwater run-off and lead to materials being washed into downstream water bodies like wetlands, rivers and the ocean.
  • Well-kept grass and modest plantings are preferred due to their environmental benefits, their ability to reduce radiated heat and to soften streetscapes.
  • Residents wishing to undertake works varying from the nature strip guidelines will need to seek a permit so Council officers can individually assess the proposed works against the guidelines and broader Council objectives.
  • Property owners or occupiers are required to maintain nature strip grass and any plants excluding street trees, which are solely Council’s responsibility.

People seeking more information can call Council on 52610600 or lodge a request via www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/request