A planning permit is required to subdivide land in a BMO. Subdivision applications are assessed through the permit application process Pathway 3.

Increasing the number of people in areas at risk of bushfire needs careful consideration.

Subdivision design is an important way to enhance a future community’s resilience to bushfire and to ensure that new lots provide appropriate bushfire protection.

Drawing showing a house with driveway and shed in a rural setting with some trees and hills behind

Speak to your local council if your proposal involves more than subdivision, such as a land use zoning change, as other requirements may apply.

Application pathways in the BMO are set out in the Planning Permit Applications Bushfire Management Overlay - Technical guide

Planning permit application

There are requirements to meet so that council can assess how a proposed subdivision responds to bushfire and applies bushfire protection measures to reduce risk.

What do I need to consider?

Your subdivision application needs to address:  

1. The bushfire hazard 

An application must address the bushfire hazard on the site, and in the surrounding landscape. This will help determine if it is appropriate to develop in an area. It will also show if and how risk can be reduced through a design response that includes appropriate bushfire protection measures.

This is done through a bushfire hazard site assessment and bushfire hazard landscape assessment.

For information on how to prepare a site and landscape assessment refer to:

2. Bushfire protection objectives and measures.

Your application should address all relevant objectives in the planning scheme including:

Your application will need to demonstrate that the proposed subdivision meets the State policy clause 13.02-1S.

Key objectives and strategies are:  

- prioritise the protection of human life
- identify and assess the bushfire hazard 
- as appropriate, locate and design development to respond to identified risk.

The BMO specifies objectives and corresponding design measures in clause 44.06.

The BMO requires a proposed subdivision to:  

  • meet the requirements in clause 53.02 - refer below 
  • meet permit conditions for construction, defendable space, water supply and access 
  • meet the mandatory permit condition relating to new lots. All subdivision permits in residential zones require a section 173 agreement for new lots that specifies the bushfire protection measures for each new lot on their individual plans 
  • be referred to the relevant fire authority - see clause 66.03.

Note: a schedule to the BMO, or another control, may include different permit exemptions, additional or substitute bushfire protection measures, decision guidelines, referral exemptions and permit conditions.

More information:

Clause 53.02 Bushfire Planning works alongside the BMO. It sets out specific subdivision bushfire protection objectives and design measures that applications must meet including: 

  • landscape and site hazard assessments
  • building siting, design and ability to withstand bushfire attack (BAL)
  • defendable space and vegetation management requirements
  • on-site water supply
  • emergency services vehicle access
  • perimeter roads (if applicable)
  • management of landscaping and public open space.

If you’re in a BMO schedule, it may specify other or additional measures.

For more information on design measures, refer to:  

What information do I need to provide? 

A planning permit application must include a:  

Before preparing your application, speak with your local council to identify any issues you need to address.

A bushfire planning consultant can help you prepare and manage a planning permit application. A list of accredited bushfire planning and building practitioners is available on the Fire Protection Association Australia website (note: this is not a comprehensive list)  

How will the council assess my application?  

Your local council will assess your application based on the requirements and decision guidelines in the bushfire planning provisions.

The council will consider whether:

  • all required documentation has been provided
  • the proposed subdivision meets the objectives of:
    • State planning policy
    • the BMO
    • clause 52.03
  • risk has been considered and can be mitigated or warrants the subdivision not proceeding  
  • the proposed protection measures can be implemented and maintained alongside the ongoing use of the land
  • any other requirements in the planning scheme are met.

Page last updated: 07/08/20