On the verge of something new

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the conversation on Council's new Nature Strip Planting Policy and revised Nature Strip Planting Guidelines.

We are now considering your feedback to help finalise the policy and guidelines. For further updates, click 'follow' at the top of this page to receive notification emails.

Nature strips are the piece of land outside a property that sit between the footpath and the street. Typically made up of a strip of grass with a tree planted in it, as they are generally on public land, Council must ensure they are safe environments.

Council's current Nature Strip Landscape Policy and Guidelines provide direction for residents wanting to plant out the nature strip in front of their residence, subject to receipt of a permit, issued by Council. The permit is free.

As the guidelines are now over 10 years old, we have reviewed and updated them to ensure they meet the needs of our community and our local climate.

Based on the review and feedback from permit holders and the broader community in early 2023, we have drafted a new Nature Strip Planting Policy and revised Nature Strip Planting Guidelines that seek to:

  • improve the availability and communication of information on the options available to residents to plant their nature strips
  • make the permit application process easier for residents by introducing an online permit application form with an easy step-by-step guide - this will mean applicants will gain immediate approval to landscape if their application is compliant
  • provide guidance for proposals that are complex or require further consideration with advice from Council officers

We are now seeking your feedback on the proposed changes – whether they are in line with your thinking, or there is anything else we should consider.

Your feedback will help us finalise the Policy and Guidelines, which will be presented to Council for endorsement later this year.

You can be part of the conversation by reading the overview below or the draft Policy and revised Guidelines in our Document Library.

You can share any feedback in person, via email or by completing the questionnaire below by midnight Monday 1 April 2024.

How to join the conversation

  • Short on time?

    Use the tabs below to view a snapshot of the draft Policy and revised Guidelines and proposed amendments.

  • Have more time?

    Download the draft Policy and revised Guidelines in full from the Document Library.

  • Prefer to chat in person?

    Meet with Council officers at one of our upcoming events:

    • 11am-1pm Thursday 21 March 2024, Central West Shopping Centre, 67 Ashley St, Braybrook VIC 3019

The draft Policy and revised Guidelines at a glance

What we heard

The first community conversation in 2023 sought views of nature strips generally and asked for ideas on how they should be developed in the future. We also wrote to current permit holders with additional questions on the permit process specifically.

Almost 250 responses were received, of which:

  • the majority believed nature strips contribute to the look and feel of a street through colour/visual pleasure
  • there was almost unanimous support for greater use of nature strips
  • respondents would like to see more plants, more trees and more vegetable gardens.

Proposed changes

Proposed changes to the draft Policy and revised Guidelines include:

  • clarity around the use of planter boxes, edible plants, non-permitted weeds, offsets, lawn alternatives (surfacing), and pavers and stepping stones to assist with designing nature strips
  • adjustments to the permit application process with the introduction of an online application form
  • extended timing to complete planting once the permit is received (18 months compared to three months previously).

View the images below to see how community feedback and responses from current permit holders helped inform the draft Policy and revised Guidelines.

To read more about what happened in our first community conversation, view the Engagement Summary Report in the Document Library on this page.

Draft Policy


The draft Nature Strip Planting Policy provides the framework for residents who prefer an alternative to a traditional grassed nature strip.

The draft Policy seeks to achieve a balance between the benefits that well-maintained planted nature strips provide to the urban environment, while managing any risks that could arise as a result of landscaping to minimise loss and damage.


The objectives of the draft Policy are to:

  • provide residents with suitable options for the type of plants they may wish to have on their nature strip as alternatives to a traditional grass nature strip
  • achieve a range of environmental and social benefits including increased biodiversity, increased visual amenity, and reduced maintenance
  • ensure that if nature strips are modified they are landscaped and maintained appropriately to provide for safe and unobstructed movement of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, the provision of telecommunications and utility services, and the collection of waste.

The full draft Nature Strip Planting Policy can be downloaded from the Document Library on this page.

Revised Guidelines

The revised guidelines support the implementation of Council’s Nature Strip Planting Policy.

They provide direction on how to plan and deliver planted nature strips, the information residents need to complete the application, responsibilities for maintaining the nature strip and links to additional resources.

The revised Guidelines provide detailed information on:

  • planting details including guidance on weed species, items not permitted, street trees, lawn alternatives, planting locations, mulch, edible plants and planter boxes
  • planning and design guidance including design parameters and permitted and non-permitted items
  • construction and maintenance considerations including site preparation, services and utilities, maintenance obligations and public liability
  • the permit application process including how to apply for a permit, owner's and neighbour's approval, application submission and Council approval.

We know that residents want more guidance to assist with their nature strip planting. We have included a list of permitted and suggested plants within the revised guidelines, as well as a list of weeds that are detrimental to the environment and should be avoided.

The full revised Nature Strip Planting Guidelines can be downloaded from the Document Library on this page.

Learn more