Bushfire Management Overlay in planning schemes

The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) applies to land that may be significantly affected by a bushfire. The Bushfire Management Overlay triggers the need for a planning permit for certain developments and requires that new development implements appropriate bushfire protection measures.

On this page is a simple five-step process to learn more about the Bushfire Management Overlay and to help you apply for a planning permit.

Planning Practice Note 65 provides extensive information to help prepare an application. It should be read alongside the Bushfire Management Overlay.


Step 1: Find out if the Bushfire Management Overlay applies

image of WMO/BMO planning scheme map

Does the Bushfire Management Overlay apply to my property?

The Bushfire Management Overlay applies to all land shown as WMO or BMO on the planning scheme maps.

To see if the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) applies to your property you can:

  • Use Planning Maps Online to view the BMO in an interactive format, obtain a Planning Property Report, or create your own custom map.

Alternatively, you can view the BMO planning scheme maps at your local council office.

View the 'Bushfire Management Overlay' planning scheme provision

View the 'Planning for Bushfire' planning scheme provision

Read Practice Note 65

Planning Practice Note 65 will assist in determining whether a planning permit is required or whether a planning permit exemption allows for development to proceed without obtaining planning permission.

Rebuilding dwelling destroyed in 2009

The government has streamlined the planning process for rebuilding dwellings that were damaged by the 2009 bushfires. The Bushfire Management Overlay does not apply to this development.  See the separate arrangements in place at Rebuilding and Recovery.

Private bushfire shelters

A planning permit exemption applies to private bushfire shelters.

A private bushfire shelter (a Class 10c building within the meaning of the Building Regulations 2006) with a total area of all buildings and works does not exceed 30 square metres is exempt from requiring planning permission.

This exemption does not apply to land in the Urban Floodway Zone, Erosion Management Overlay, Floodway Overlay, Land Subject to Inundation Overlay, Special Building Overlay or Heritage Overlay.

More information is available in:


Step 2: Identify which application pathway applies

Where planning permission is required under the Bushfire Management Overlay it will be important that the application pathway is identified early in the process of preparing an application.

Why are there application pathways?

There are three application pathways that each have a different approach to preparing and assessing a planning permit application. The pathways provide a streamlined approach for dwellings in existing settlements, a more detailed approach for other types of development, and special provisions to guide the subdivision of land.

What are the three application pathways?

Planning Practice Note 65 will help you to identify your application pathway and learn more about how Clause 52.47 operates. The relevant extracts from Practice Note 65 are provided in the table below.

PATHWAY ONE

Single dwellings in existing settlements

Clause 52.47-1

PATHWAY TWO

All other buildings and works

 Clause 52.47-2

PATHWAY THREE

Subdivision

Clause 52.47-2

Step 2 Pathway One (PDF 93.0 KB)

Check if this applies in your zone.

Step 2 Pathway Two
(PDF 93.0 KB)

Step 2 Pathway Three (PDF 92.1 KB)


Step 3 : Assess the bushfire hazard on and around your land

What application requirements apply?

Application requirements are the information that must be submitted with your application. This information helps you develop the bushfire protection measures to be included in the application. The application requirements are different depending on your application pathway.

Planning Practice Note 65 provides detailed guidance on preparing this information. Review the practice note extracts in the table below relevant to your application pathway.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENT

 

PATHWAY ONE

Single dwellings in existing settlements

Clause 52.47-1

 

PATHWAY TWO

All other buildings and works

 Clause 52.47-2

 

PATHWAY THREE

Subdivision

Clause 52.47-2

 

Bushfire hazard site assessment Required
Pathway One - site assessment (PDF 5.0 MB)
Required
Pathway Two - site assessment (PDF 5.0 MB)
Required
Pathway Three - site assessment (PDF 5.0 MB)
Bushfire hazard landscape assessment Not required Required
Pathway Two - landscape assessment (PDF 5.1 MB)
Required
Pathway Three- landscape assessment (PDF 5.1 MB)
Bushfire management statement Required
Pathway One - Bushfire Management Statement (PDF 92.5 KB)
Required
Pathway Two - Bushfire Management Statement (PDF 92.5 KB)
Required
Pathway Three - Bushfire Management Statement (PDF 92.5 KB)

Completing the Bushfire Hazard Site Assessment

Australian Standard AS 3950-2009 Construction of buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas is referred to in Clause 52.47. If necessary, a copy can be purchased from the SAI Global InfoStore.


Step 4: Prepare an application that includes bushfire protection measures 

What bushfire protection measures will I include in my planning application?

Clause 52.47 Planning for Bushfire and Practice Note 65 will provide you with the information to determine what bushfire protection measures to include in your application.

View the 'Planning for Bushfire' planning scheme provision

Practice Note 65 provides detailed guidance on what bushfire protection measures need to be included in your application. Review the practice note extracts in the table below relevant to your application pathway.

PATHWAY ONE

Single dwellings in existing settlements

Clause 52.47-1

PATHWAY TWO

All other buildings and works

 Clause 52.47-2

 

PATHWAY THREE

Subdivision

Clause 52.47-2

 

Step 4 Pathway One (PDF 1.3 MB)

and

  • Bushfire Hazard Site Assessment
  • Bushfire Management Statement

Step 4 Pathway Two (PDF 2.1 MB)

and

  • Bushfire Hazard Landscape Assessment
  • Bushfire Hazard Site Assessment
  • Bushfire Management Statement

Step 4 Pathway Three
(PDF 3.2 MB)

and

  • Bushfire Hazard Landscape Assessment
  • Bushfire Hazard Site Assessment
  • Bushfire Management Statement

Pathway One - Appendix 1 (PDF 7.8 MB)

Pathway One - Appendix 2 (PDF 353.1 KB)

Pathway One - Appendix 3 (PDF 614.3 KB)

Pathway Two - Appendix 1 (PDF 7.8 MB)

Pathway Two - Appendix 2 (PDF 353.1 KB)

Pathway Two - Appendix 3 (PDF 614.3 KB)

Pathway Three -Appendix 1 (PDF 7.8 MB) 

Pathway Three -Appendix 2 (PDF 353.1 KB)

Pathway Three -Appendix 3 (PDF 614.3 KB)

Landscaping and creating a more fire ready property

For further information on landscaping requirements and how to prepare a landscape plan in bushfire areas see the CFA document: Landscaping for bushfire – Garden design and plant selection


Step 5: Understand how the council will assess your application and if a permit exemption for creating defendable space applies

Lodge your planning application

You should lodge your planning application with your local council.

State Planning Policy Framework

Council will have regard to the state planning policy for bushfire in making its decision. You can view the planning scheme provision here:

Practice Note 65 explains how the council will make a decision. Review the practice note extracts in the table below relevant to your application pathway.

PATHWAY ONE

Single dwellings in existing settlements

Clause 52.47-1

PATHWAY TWO

All other buildings and works

 Clause 52.47-2

 

PATHWAY THREE

Subdivision

Clause 52.47-2

 

Step 5 Pathway One Decision Guidelines (PDF 94.3 KB)
 
Planning Permit Conditions and Endorsed Plans (PDF 713.9 KB)
Step 5 Pathway Two Decision Guidelines (PDF 90.0 KB)
 
Planning Permit Conditions and Endorsed Plans (PDF 713.9 KB)
Step 5 Pathway Three Decision Guidelines (PDF 90.0 KB)
 
Planning Permit Conditions and Endorsed Plans (PDF 713.9 KB)

Planning permit exemption to create defendable space

Clause 52.48-5 sets out a planning permit exemption to create defendable space for a dwelling or an alteration or extension to a dwelling. The exemption only applies where land is in the General Residential Zone, Residential Growth Zone, Neighbourhood Residential Zone, Urban Growth Zone, Low Density Residential Zone, Township Zone, Rural Living Zone, Farming Zone or Rural Activity Zone.

Where the planning permit exemption applies and a planning permit has been issued under the Bushfire Management Overlay, further planning permission is not required to remove, destroy or lop vegetation that implements the defendable space approved in the permit and/or shown on the endorsed plans.

Where the permit exemption in Clause 52.48-5 does not apply, the vegetation management required to implement defendable space will be considered as part of the decision to grant planning permission alongside the relevant vegetation-related planning considerations.

View the planning scheme provisions

Planning permit conditions

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission highlighted the importance of complying with the conditions on a planning permit to reduce bushfire risk.  It is the responsibility of the permit holder, usually the landowner, to ensure ongoing compliance with the conditions on a planning permit, including those relating to bushfire.

Some of the ways that landowners, councils and fire authorities can promote compliance with fire related permit conditions are explained in the following sections at Compliance with bushfire planning conditions:

  • Roles and responsibilities of landowners, the responsible authority and referral authorities
  • Advice about the planning permit condition required by the Bushfire Management Overlay
  • Information about how to promote compliance with planning permit conditions

Victoria's planning and building framework

Victoria has one of the highest levels of bushfire risk in the world. The planning and building systems ensure that new development is more resilient to bushfire and supports communities to be more bushfire ready.

Find out more about bushfire in Victoria and the background to the current requirements...

Page last reviewed on 14 November 2014

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