Victoria's Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) mapping has been updated and new schedules introduced on 3rd October 2017. These changes were made following extensive consultation with local councils and the Country Fire Authority (CFA), and follow the mapping criteria set out in Planning Advisory Note 46: Bushfire Management Overlay Mapping Methodology and Criteria.
Mapping: Approximately 108,000 properties were included in the BMO and a further 17,000 were removed as a result of the updated mapping. The total number of properties now in the BMO is approximately 230,000, with around 103,000 of these being on public land.
Schedules: BMO schedules were introduced to approximately 70,000 properties across Victoria.
Free property reports available from the Victorian Government that show all zones and overlays applicable to a property. This report will specify whether the BMO or a schedule apply.
If the BMO applies to a property, a planning permit may be required to build a new house, subdivide land or substantially extend an existing house.
Other types of buildings may also need to address the BMO requirements, including hotels, office and retail premises, industry, education centres, hospitals, leisure/recreation facilities, function centres and places of worship.
The local council can confirm if and how the BMO applies to a property. Alternatively, Ecology and Heritage Partners are able to provide advice regarding the BMO implications for a property.If you have to comply with the BMO as part of your planning permit, the development needs to provide protection measures that address building construction standards, vegetation management, access requirements and static water needs.
If the predetermined schedule criteria are not met, they will have to undertake the regular BMO process.
In most cases, existing planning permits obtained before the 3rd October 2017 won’t be affected if the BMO was applied after the permit was issued. There are, however, a number of cases where a permit may be affected if the BMO has been applied to the subject land as part of the 3rd October mapping update. These include:
All land in Victoria considered at risk from bush (and grass) fires is in a designated BPA, with the BMO being applied to BPAs that have the potential to be affected by extreme bushfires. Only highly urbanised/built-up areas are excluded from any bushfire protection measures.
Development in BPAs is required to comply with the relevant bushfire construction standards within the building permit process. Vegetation management, access and static water requirements are not required for developments in the BPA. These additional measures are reserved for higher risk developments in the BMO as part of the planning permit process.
To discuss these changes and the implications for your project, contact Ecology and Heritage Partners on 1300 839 325.
Our highly qualified and experienced team is available to answer your questions, assist with preparing reports for council submission under the BMO or BPA. We will also conduct biodiversity and flora and fauna assessments, and broker native vegetation offsets that may be required as part of a planning application.