Nature strips

Nature strips are the public land between the footpath and the kerb on residential streets. Nature strips are set aside for the provision of essential services, such as telephone, gas, water, sewerage, drainage and electricity. They also provide clear viewing lines for pedestrians and vehicles, a stable area for postal and waste collection services and safe entry and exit clearances for motor vehicles.

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Maintaining your nature strip

Residents are encouraged to maintain the nature strip in front of their home to make sure that they are safe and tidy. Maintenance includes mowing, weeding, edging and collecting litter.

Planting on your nature strip

Residents are permitted to plant ground covers and low-growing shrubs and grasses as an alternative to grass. Indigenous plants are preferred as they provide habitat for native butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife and often require less water.

A permit is required from Council before planting a nature strip. This is an obligation under Glen Eira City Council’s Local Law (No. 32). Residents are encouraged to read the Nature Strip Planting Guidelines for all nature strip planning and planting. Our Indigenous Plants of Glen Eira also has information on Indigenous plants.

Can I apply for a Nature Strip Planting Permit online?

Yes, you can register to apply for permits online from 7 November 2019. When we approve your registration, we’ll send you a confirmation email.

Street trees

Council is responsible for the planting and maintenance of street trees. Residents are not permitted to plant, prune or remove the trees on nature strips. Please contact Council on 9524 3333 if your street tree has died or is missing.

FAQs

Do I need a permit to landscape my nature strip?

Yes, residents wanting to landscape a nature strip must apply to Council seeking a Nature Strip Planting Permit. This is a requirement under Local Law No. 32. All works must abide by Council’s Nature Strip Planting Guidelines.

How can I apply for a permit?

You can apply for a Nature Strip Planting Permit online from 7 November 2019.

What is the fee for a permit?

There is no charge for a Nature Strip Planting Permit.

What information do I need to provide to Council when applying for a permit?

When applying for a Nature Strip Planting Permit, you need to provide the following information:

  • A simple sketch of the proposed nature strip planting. This can be a simple drawing on a sheet of paper that you photograph or scan to be uploaded to the online form.
  • A list of plant species (scientific as well as common names preferred).

Are there consequences for not obtaining a permit?

Under the Nature Strip Planting Guidelines, failure to obtain a permit on a nature strip may require property owners to remove plantings as directed by Council at the owner’s cost. On non-compliance, Council may take appropriate action and require the owner to cover Council’s costs.

Do I need to call Dial Before You Dig?

Yes, this is a condition of the Nature Strip Planting Permit. Nature strips contain many essential services including water, gas, sewerage, drainage and electricity. Any excavation, no matter the size, has the potential to damage these services leading to service interruptions, costly repairs and even injury or death.

Can I only use plant species that are listed in the guidelines?

Glen Eira City Council is committed to sustainability. The recommended plant list included in the Nature Strip Planting Guidelines are indigenous (native) to Glen Eira. Indigenous plants enhance biodiversity and provide habitat for native bird and animals. However, residents are not required to only use plant species from this list. Any low-growing plant species (a mature height of 50 centimetres or less) may be used.

Can I use pavers or rocks on the nature strip?

No. Landscaping hard surfaces are not permitted for use on nature strips. These include:

  • pavers and bricks;
  • rocks;
  • fences;
  • sleepers or edges;
  • planter boxes;
  • ornaments (including gnomes); and
  • bollards.

Can I use artificial turf/grass on the nature strip?

No, synthetic turf is not permitted for use on nature strips.

Can I use mulch or gravel on the nature strip?

No, mulch and gravel are not permitted for use on nature strips.

Can I plant fruit, vegetables and herbs on my nature strip?

No, edible plants (fruit, vegetables, herbs) are not permitted for use on nature strips. This is to minimise health and safety risks for pedestrians by reducing slip hazards from falling fruit and run-off. As the responsible authority for road reserves, Council has an obligation to ensure a safe environment for road users.

Who will maintain my nature strip?

Council relies on the goodwill of property owners to maintain the nature strip adjacent to their property. Maintenance includes mowing, weeding, edging and any works required in keeping the nature strip safe and tidy and free of rubbish and hazards.

Can I plant my own tree on my nature strip?

No, additional trees are not to be planted on the nature strip. Existing trees cannot be removed or pruned. Council is responsible for the planting and maintenance of street trees. Please contact Council on 9524 3333 if your street tree has died or is missing.

How do I work out the correct Tree Protection Zone?

The Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) is calculated by measuring the diameter of the trunk at chest height and multiplying this number by 12. This is the closest distance to the tree where planting is allowed. For example, if the diameter of the tree on your nature strip is 40 centimetres, the TPZ is 480 centimetres or 4.8 metres. Don’t worry if you are unsure how to do this a Council officer will undertake a site inspection of your nature strip and assess this.

What happens if Council or a utility company need to access the services within my landscaped nature strip?

There are many essential services that are contained within the nature strip, including telephone, gas, water, sewerage, drainage and electricity. From time to time, utility companies require access to their infrastructure for upgrades or repairs. Please be aware that they are only obligated to reinstate the nature strip as grass, even if a Nature Strip Planting Permit has been obtained.

What would happen if a property with a Nature Strip Planting Permit is sold?

If the new owners are not a party to the permit, the nature strip must be returned to the original condition by the previous owner at the previous owner’s cost. Otherwise, the new property owner may agree to maintain the planted nature strip by obtaining a Nature Strip Planting Permit.