The State Government has recently made changes to the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) in the Wellington Shire (and elsewhere across Victoria) to ensure that bushfire risk is appropriately considered in the planning permit process.
The BMO triggers the need for a planning permit for certain developments and requires new developments to include appropriate bushfire protection measures.
Does the Bushfire Management Overlay apply to my property?
To see if the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) applies to your property you can:
If you are affected, the generated report will inform you if you are affected by BMO, BMO1, BMO2 or BMO3 which will determine the relevant permit application process.
Applying for a permit in the Bushfire Management Overlay
The permit application process will vary depending on the type and location of the development.
For some areas in Wellington Shire, BMO ‘Schedules’ (BMO1, BMO2 and BMO3) have been developed to provide ‘fast-track’ planning permit requirements for dwellings. These areas are generally already subdivided and have a homogenous risk, which is well understood and can be addressed through ‘pre-set’ planning permit requirements (such as water supply, construction standards, access requirements).
The CFA has determined that the requirements in BMO1, BMO2 and BMO3 will properly address the known fire risk. By pre-setting requirements in a Schedule, applicants are not required to establish requirements themselves ‘from scratch’ and are also provided with a higher level of certainty ‘up front’.
The table below lists the towns where fast-track Schedule requirements apply for dwellings. Please note that not all properties in these towns are covered. Please use the sources above to determine if a BMO Schedule applies to your property (shown as BMO1, BMO2, or BMO3) or check the mapping for each township below to determine if your property is covered. Please contact Council if you are unsure.
If a Schedule applies to your property, visit the DELWP page - Single Dwellings in the BMO - and follow the guidance for ‘Single Dwellings in a BMO Schedule – Fast Track Pathway’
The fast-track pathway will require you to download and complete a template Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) (696KB). The BMP (696KB) is mostly prefilled and only requires you to select the relevant canopy separation, Bushfire Attack Level (BAL), water supply and access specifications. Once completed, submit the BMP to Council with your planning permit application to demonstrate that the requirements of the relevant Schedule have been met.
* BAL = Bushfire Attack Level
It is noted that each property is unique and as such sometimes the pre-set measures can be varied to suit the context of the site. If an applicant chooses to prepare alternative measures to the pre-set measures, an application would need to follow the regular BMO application process.
If your property is not covered by a Schedule, different requirements apply. Please follow the links below to view information about the permit process and requirements for various types of development.
Single Dwellings outside Scheduled areas. Follow guidance for:
- Pathway 1 if located in an urban zone or;
- Pathway 2 – all other locations
Outbuildings, sheds and similar works
Other Development (units, commercial, retail)
How do I obtain Further Assistance?
Some applications for planning permits under the BMO are generally referred to the CFA for advice. As such, you may wish to contact the Gippsland Regional Office of the CFA on (03) 5149 1000 to discuss your proposal.
It is noted that the Fire Protection Association Australia website has a list of accredited bushfire consultants. Other local consultants/specialists (e.g. planning consultants, private building surveyors) will also be able to assist you.
Further detailed information and guidance about BMO requirements is located on the CFA and DELWP websites. A full copy of the Wellington Planning Scheme and associated BMO clauses and maps can be located on the DELWP website.