Sunshine Coast’s green thumbs and kitchen gardeners - it’s now even easier to plant a garden on your nature strip or road verge following council’s endorsement of a local law amendment to include new self-assessable criteria.
Within the criteria, residents can now plant a hedge up to 1.5 metres high along the fence line and plant a garden bed up to 50cm high on the verge, without having to submit an application or arrange public liability insurance.
Approving the local law amendments at council’s April Ordinary Meeting was the final step in putting the new self-assessable verge planting criteria in place.
Small hedges, herbs, vegetables, annuals and ferns are just some of the plants included in the extensive approved species list, all of which are safe, sustainable and fit with the character of the Sunshine Coast.
The criteria also provide information about approved planting heights, pedestrian access requirements and boundary setbacks.
Governance and Customer Service portfolio councillor Ted Hungerford said the self-assessable criteria greatly simplified the process for residents interested in planting verge gardens and encouraged communities to connect through their love of gardening.
“We undertook extensive research to develop these criteria, assessed what other local government areas are doing and consulted with several residents’ associations and local garden groups,” Cr Hungerford said.
“During community consultation, residents expressed their desire for council to be supportive in helping them to activate new gardens, for it to be a simple process with clear criteria and for there to be no application fee – and I’m happy to say that’s exactly what we’ve delivered.
“The new criteria provide a balance in supporting community members who wish to enhance or beautify the road verge, while still meeting council’s legal obligations.”
Gardeners must maintain a 60cm gap between a garden bed and the road edge to allow room for residents to access the garden, motorists to access vehicles parked on the road and provide a location to place bins for rubbish collection.
To allow for pedestrian access on a verge without an existing formed footpath, a minimum of 1.8 metres is required to be left clear and this pathway can meander if desired.
Visit council’s website to view the self-assessable criteria, example images, a fact sheet and download a copy of the plant approved species.
If you would like to plant a verge garden outside the self-assessable criteria a permit is required. More information is available on council’s website.
The self-assessable criteria do not apply to street tree planting. Residents wanting trees planted on their street, can submit a request to council via the website or by phoning 5475 7272.