Permit for road verge (nature strip) planting and landscaping
  • Last updated:
  • 25 Nov 2022

There are occasions when council will approve a permit (DOCX, 225KB) for residents to plant and/or install infrastructure within the road verge.

The road verge, also known as the nature strip or road reserve, within our region consists of grass, footpath and a council provided street tree.

A permit is required where:

In the first instance, council encourages residents to plant within the criteria of the planting self-assessable verge garden fact sheet (DOCX, 1.2MB).

Permit applications (DOCX, 225KB) are assessed on a case by case basis. A bond may also be applicable depending on the extent of the works and will be quoted on assessment of the application.


All planting that does not meet the self-assessable criteria must meet the criteria when applying for a permit. 

An application must be submitted and approved prior to any planting being undertaken.

If the application is approved, the permit holder must maintain, at all times during the approval, a Certificate of Currency (Public Liability Insurance) minimum of $2million covering the area occupied by the planting.


A permit application (DOCX, 225KB) is required if you wish to place any infrastructure on the road verge. 

An application must be submitted and approved prior to any installation of infrastructure such as a shelter, fence or retaining wall within the road verge.

A non-refundable application fee applies and must be paid on lodgement.

If the application is approved, the permit holder must maintain, at all times during the approval, a Certificate of Currency (Public Liability Insurance) minimum of $20million covering the area occupied by the infrastructure.

Depending on the type of infrastructure, you may require the service of a registered Building Certifier to gain a current Building Development Permit for the proposed building works. Please check with a private certifier.


Refer to the fact sheet (PDF, 202KB) for a full list of the criteria for planting and/or installation of infrastructure on a road verge ((outside planting self-assessable verge garden fact sheet (DOCX, 1.2MB) criteria)).

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is required to protect the residents' interest should anything happen on council managed or controlled land where you intend to conduct activities. This will ensure that you, and anyone traversing the road verge is protected in the case of an accident or incident. Your home insurance company may provide public liability insurance.


The purpose of the bond (if required) is to cover any damage to existing infrastructure or vegetation and varies in accordance with level of risk and activity type. The installation of the planting or infrastructure cannot commence until payment of the bond is received.

The bond is refunded when:

  • activity is completed
  • photos submitted of the completed works
  • council is satisfied that there has been no damage to existing vegetation or infrastructure outside of what was permitted.

Deed of Consent

The purpose of the Deed of Consent, if required, is to ensure works are conducted in a way that satisfies all stakeholders' needs and to minimise any damage to existing infrastructure or vegetation. The Deed of Consent replaces the requirement to pay a bond for proposed works.

Frequently asked questions

A permit (DOCX, 225KB) is required so council can assess the circumstances and ensure community safety is upheld and the road verge function is not compromised.

Services such as water, sewerage, power and telecommunications may be located within the road verge and can be damaged during digging activities. A permit also ensures that under and above ground utilities have been checked prior to any works being approved.

Certain activities conducted on the road verge require a local law approval under council's Subordinate Local Law No.1 (Administration) 2016 Schedule 4 - Alteration or improvement to local government controlled areas and roads.

Where access to the road verge is required by a utility company, they will often cause damage to the surface area or surrounding infrastructure and usually re-establish this area with turf. They do not normally cover costs to reinstate additional beautification or infrastructure treatments.

Applications (DOCX, 225KB) can be completed and lodged via council's customer service centre.

A non-refundable application assessment fee may need to be paid on lodgement of your application. Please check the application form for applicable fees.

Applications will be assessed in accordance with the documentation provided and suitability of the proposed works. If necessary, a site visit may be conducted by an authorised council officer.

A permit cannot be transferred, sublet or mortgaged. any new property owner / business will be required to apply to council for an approval (DOCX, 225KB) on new or existing planting or infrastructure.

Installing or altering infrastructure on council controlled land should in no way impact on existing street trees.

Adequate Tree Protection Zones (TPZ) must be established around existing trees. Tree Protection Zones consider both the crown and root area of a tree that requires protection for long-term viability.

More information

If you have any feedback or questions about the assessment process or wish to plant in a location other than the road verge, please contact council.