Your say on your nature strip

Nature strips are areas of public land that lie between the boundary of private property and the road kerb. They soften and enhance the streetscape by providing a ‘green’ zone and buffer between pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

They also provide opportunities to enhance habitat and urban biodiversity through the planting of mixed shrubs and groundcovers, particularly when these species are indigenous. It is increasingly recognised that many small areas of mixed planting can have a valuable, cumulative effect on species biodiversity in heavily urbanised environments.

Nature strip planting allows residents to:

  • improve biodiversity opportunities
  • increase the aesthetics of the neighbourhood
  • reduce the urban heat effect in their local area, and
  • participate in a healthy activity that can increase neighbourhood connections.

Our current Nature Strip Planting Guidelines were first endorsed in 2019. We want to make it easier for community members to plant in nature strips, but over the last four years, feedback from the community has suggested the guidelines are too restrictive making it hard to successfully apply for a permit.

We have now updated the Guidelines based on this feedback to maximise the opportunities for residents to landscape their nature strips, while still ensuring appropriate safety provisions are kept.

You can see a list of the proposed changes and a copy of the draft Nature Strip Planting Guidelines Update in the Document list opposite.

This survey is now closed. Your feedback will help finalise the Guidelines Update and inform Council’s decision to formally adopt them later this year.

Closing the loop

Council adopted the revised Nature Strip Planting Guidelines 2023 (Guidelines) on 8 November 2023.

The community's feedback on the draft Guidelines was considered and led to some changes in the final Guidelines.

Engagement took place over four weeks. The promotion and reach of the engagement included:

Communication Activities

Glen Eira News Have Your Say page - article directing people to the survey

All households in Glen Eira September edition

Have Your Say project engagement page live with the survey available

  • 252 surveys completed.
  • 970 visits
  • 550 document downloads

Social media post on Facebook promoting the engagement opportunity for community members to have their say.

  • Reach 1,200
  • Reactions 95
  • Comments 33
  • Shares 21
  • Link clicks 19

Sustainability News e-newsletter - 28 August

  • 4,000 subscribers

Community Engagement e-newsletter - 4 September

  • 4,422 subscribers

Email promotion to Sustainability Champions

  • 25 participants

An online community survey was the primary engagement activity with a total of 252 surveys completed.

Snapshot of key results

  • still too restrictive or not much different;
  • inability to grow certain plants like vegetables, herbs, and edible plants;
  • permit process too long;
  • restrictive clearance requirements and distances from curb and road; and
  • complex and not easy to read.
  • offer more flexibility on what can be planted, including edible crops, nature strip tree selection;
  • provide more information on design templates, plant establishment and species selection;
  • make guidelines easier to read and clarify language around grass, turf, synthetic turf and lawn;
  • make the permit process easier or remove it; and
  • don’t require the removal of plantings when a property is vacated or sold.
  • The prohibition of edible crops has been removed but the recommendation against planting them and information on soil testing has been kept.
  • The time period for undertaking planting has been increased from 3 months to 12 months, following receiving a permit.
  • The requirement to reinstate turf when a property is sold or vacated has been removed.
  • The recommended plant list has been increased and an additional statement added to clarify that the list is not exhaustive and that other species that meet height requirements can be used.
  • Minor modifications has been made to clarify language around grass, turf and lawn, and images have been updated to reflect the proposed changes.
  • The loosening of many restrictions will enable the permit process to be streamlined and permit applications to be assessed more quickly. Further to this, officers are developing a process to allow the automatic generation of permits following a series of questions to allow residents to start planting their nature strips without delays.
In addition, Councils website will be updated in the first half of 2024 to include:
  • Examples of potential nature strip designs;
  • Information regarding plant care and plant establishment;
  • Information regarding further plant recommendations; and
  • A list of local indigenous nurseries.

Engagement stage 1