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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 Community Local Law 2019 Clause 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.

There is a $50 fee for a Nature Strip Planting Permit. Once your permit is approved, we’ll send you a confirmation email. You will also receive a $50 voucher to an indigenous nursery for the purchase of plants for your nature strip.

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?

What is the fee for a permit?

There is a $50 fee for a Nature Strip Planting Permit. Once your permit is approved, you will also receive a $50 voucher to an indigenous nursery for the purchase of plants for your nature strip.

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 (up to a maximum mature height of 100 centimetres or less) may be used, in line with height restrictions as specified in the Guidelines.

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?

Graded mulch is permitted for use on nature strips.

Gravel, or any hard stony surface that replaces turf without the installation of plants is not permitted.

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

Unfortunately, soil contamination (eg. lead) is common in urban areas and airborne contaminants can settle on plants along streets. These contaminants can transfer to edible plants. Due to potential health risks, Council recommends that you do not eat plants grown directly in your nature strip.

If you decide to proceed with planting edible crops, the nature-strip soil should be tested for contaminants such as lead and any other potential health risks understood.

Simple, low-cost soil testing service for can be obtained prior to planting any food crops. For more information, visit https://www.360dustanalysis.com.

Crops that bear fruit are better than leafy greens or root vegetables. Consider the addition of compost and organic matter to assist in improving soil health over time.

Please note that nature strips are accessible to everyone and nothing can be enforced to prevent others from helping themselves to what is grown there.

Who will maintain my nature strip?

Council relies on 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 far away from my nature strip tree do I need to stay?

Please do not plant your nature strip if your nature strip tree is less than two years old. You can identify newly establishing trees as they will have stakes, mulch and plastic water wells. Once the two-year establishment period is completed then residents are welcome to plant their nature strip.

For established trees, there is a one metre minimum clearance required around trees to protect the root flair and minimise the risk of root disturbance.

Always be careful when working around tree roots by using only hand tools when directly beneath the tree’s canopy. If an area is hard to dig, don’t force it. A tree root may be lying under that section of soil and could be damaged.

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?

There is no longer a requirement for nature strips to be returned to the original condition upon the sale of a property. However, the new owners will bear responsibility for the maintenance of the planted nature strip.

If a new owner wishes to reinstate the nature strip in front of their property to turf, this will need to be done at the owner's cost.