Some Planning Permits need a landscape plan. This will be listed as a condition in your permit.

You must also prepare a landscape plan if your proposal is a:

  • multi-unit development
  • mixed use development
  • larger non-residential development.

A landscape plan makes sure the development contributes positively to the character of the neighbourhood.

We recommend you use a landscape architect or landscape designer to prepare your plan.

What goes in your plan

Your plans should integrate the landscape into the building design.

They should be drawn to a maximum scale of 1:200.

Landscape elements

Your plans must show:

  • existing vegetation that will be kept or removed
  • a plant schedule with all new vegetation to be planted
  • garden beds, lawns and planter box details (including soil profile and drainage)
  • the height and canopy spread of existing trees (include botanic names)
  • the soil preparation methods planned for lawn and garden areas
  • planned mulch type and depth (minimum acceptable depth for mulch is 75mm).

Built elements

Your plans must show:

  • the footprint of the proposed development
  • pathways, driveways, courtyards, parking areas, stairs
  • a title block and north point
  • existing and proposed site contours or spot levels, including finished floor levels of buildings
  • planned areas of cut and fill
  • any title boundaries, easements, street names, building footprint/s, walls
  • fences and retaining wall details including heights
  • the line of overhead building canopies and basements (that extend beyond building footprint)
  • the extent and finishes (including colour) of paved pedestrian and vehicle areas
  • proposals for wide open space, such as signs, canopies, or art works (for large developments).

Other considerations

  • Planning overlay restrictions that affect landscape design requirements
  • Planning Permit conditions that relate to landscape design
  • Privacy and access to sunlight for surrounding properties.

Responsive design

Your plans should create a site-responsive design by responding to:

  • existing soil conditions
  • slope and drainage
  • scale of surrounding buildings
  • solar exposure
  • local climate and conditions
  • views
  • existing access ways
  • links to the surrounding community
  • existing vegetation
  • cultural and heritage values.

Plant schedule

You must include a schedule of the plants you plan to use.

A plant schedule documents:

  • botanical and common plant names
  • pot sizes at planting and maturity
  • quantities of each plant.

Include abbreviations for each plant in the 'key' column to easily indicate different types of plants on your drawn plans. View our example below.

    Example of a plant schedule

    Plant type Key Botanical name Common name Mature height Mature width Planting size Pot size Qty
    Trees TL

    Tristanopsis laurina

    Water Gum 7m 6m 2.5m min height, 100L pot 100L 1
    Shrubs Cs Callistemon sieberi River Bottlebrush 2m 3m

    0.8m min. height, 200mm pot

    150mm 14
    Shrubs Pg Pittosporum 'Green Pillar' Green Pillar Pittosporum 5m 2m 1.2m min. height, 25L pot 25:L 13
    Groundcover Dt Dianella tasmanica

    Flax Lily

    0.6m 0.6m

    150mm pot

    150mm 30


    Myoporum parvifolium Creeping Boobialla 0.2m 0.8m

    150mm pot

    150mm 34

    Size requirements for plants

    Trees must be installed at a pot size of 300mm or more.

    Trees that are visible from the street should be at least 2.5m tall when you plant them.

    Shrub and ground cover plants need to be dense enough to:

    • discourage weeds
    • completely cover garden areas when plants are mature.

    If you plan to install a rain garden, your plant species need to:

    • suit your soil conditions
    • be able to withstand periods of soil saturation and dry conditions.


    Consider a sustainable approach in your plans to benefit the environment.

    For example, your plans could include:

    • sustainable or 'eco-preferable' landscape materials
    • native and indigenous Australian plants and trees
    • bird and bat nesting boxes to create urban habitat for native birds and animals
    • fruiting trees and edible gardens
    • ways to protect existing trees, such as making sure construction is not under the tree canopy
    • private open spaces for residents that can be easily maintained
    • spaces where people can interact and connect with the natural environment
    • using water sensitive urban design features.

    You must make sure any water features comply with Melbourne Water's design requirements.

    Apply for a Planning Permit

    Before you start your works, apply for a Planning Permit.

    You can include a copy of your landscape plan with your application, or send it to us after you apply.

    More information

    For advice about Planning Permits:

    Find out what you need to do to protect trees during construction.

    For advice about local flora and fauna, visit our biodiversity pages.

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