Land management plans

This advice has been prepared to assist permit applicants in the preparation of Land Management Plans. These plans should generally accompany planning applications that seek new development and/or the introduction of new land uses on land in rural or environmentally significant areas.

Nillumbik Shire Council is committed to protecting and enhancing its significant natural and rural environments. Given the significant impact of rural and rural-living development and land use change on the appearance, landscape character and ecological biodiversity of the Shire, Council is committed to achieving a sustainable balance between facilitating appropriate development and land use, and maintaining and enhancing the natural environment.

To guarantee adequate protection and enhancement of the environmental features of the subject and surrounding land, the development and implementation of a Land Management Plan is essential. Land Management Plans can cater for a number of different types of properties, including hobby farms, bushland and agricultural land.

Development of a Land Management Plan generally begins with an inventory and evaluation of the land, including steps designed to help understand the property's physical setting. Once identified, the plan should seek to specify methods to protect and enhance natural features and resources, and document how the new development or land use will be managed so that it will not impact on the identified environmental values.

The design process for a Land Management Plan should include

  1. An assessment of the property and environmental assets
  2. Identification of potential threats to those assets
  3. Goal setting and specification of actions
  4. Implementation and monitoring of the identified actions

The checklist provided has been prepared to assist you with the preparation of a Land Management Plan for your property. Please consider all the listed criteria when completing your plan, as Council officers will use this checklist when assessing your application. It is also recommended that you engage a suitably qualified environmental professional to prepare the plan with you. It is helpful if they are engaged during the early siting and design phases of the development.

The checklist below should assist you in the preparation and designing of a Land Management Plan. Please note that this checklist should be viewed as a minimum benchmark, and additional information can and should be added as necessary. When assessing your Land Management Plan, Council may seek further detail on matters specific to your property and this should be added accordingly.

Land Management Plan checklist

Your Land Management Plan should be divided into two main sections

  • Section 1: Site Development Plan. Which should describe the management processes that will be implemented during any proposed construction/development works, or any changes to land use or land activities (for example, define and document construction zones, vegetation protection zones, sediment control measures, proposed vegetation removal)
  • Section 2: Land Management Plan. Which should detail the long-term land management objectives of the entire property (for example, map areas of remnant vegetation, set out a weed control program, provide a revegetation plan and schedule)

Section 1 - Site Development Plan

Three copies of a report and a scaled and dimensioned plan at 1:100, 1:200 or 1:500, shall include

  • Permanent Features - all existing and proposed features and site information
    • North point
    • Road names and vehicle access tracks
    • Property boundary, and any existing external or internal fencing
    • Existing buildings, gates, sheds, farm yards or paddocks
    • Easements and services (underground and overhead)
    • Building envelope (include any existing and/or proposed buildings)
    • Effluent disposal field
    • Dams
    • Waterways and wetlands
    • Contours and/or spot levels of the existing and proposed landform
    • Existing vegetation (indigenous and exotic)
    • CFA vehicular turning requirements
  • Site Development Strategies - must identify and address the following
    • Construction Zone: This is generally required to be included on a plan for sites containing remnant indigenous vegetation. This zone will form the area where soil disturbance will occur during construction. Any storage of material and machinery during the construction period are to be strictly confined to this area.
    • Vegetation Protection Zones: All vegetation located within the construction zone and/or within the vicinity of the proposed development site and marked on the plan to be retained must have a Vegetation Protection Zone defined and fenced. Each Vegetation Protection Zone must extend clear of any ground storey vegetation, and for middle and upper storey vegetation must extend at least around the periphery of the foliage canopy to include the drip line.
    • Proposed vehicular access to the construction zone
    • Proposed driveway materials, with indicative grades and drainage provision
    • Any vegetation proposed for removal
    • Sediment control measures, such as sediment control fences
    • Extent of any earthworks (cut and fill), including methods of reinstatement and erosion control
    • Location of an effluent disposal envelope/field

Section 2 - Land Management Plan

In addition to the Site Development Plan, the following must be provided in a report format (3 copies to be provided) with plans attached, and shall include

  • List of the objectives for the property (for instance, will it be used for domestic, agricultural and/or environmental purposes?)
  • Information on the following land management issues
    • Weed control: Identify significant noxious and environmental weed infestations located on the property. List the types of weeds, percentage cover and the proposed method and timing of control (both short and long term)
    • Native Vegetation: Provide a detailed assessment of the ecological vegetation communities that exist on the property including any significant flora, its location and condition. Specify how indigenous vegetation will be managed. Identify any significant habitat corridors, areas proposed for revegetation or regeneration and provide a list of species, including quantity and botanical names, which will be used for revegetation.
    • Fauna: Identify any faunal species of significance, and measures to be undertaken to protect these species. Identify other practices that may be used to improve habitat values on the property (such as nesting boxes, fencing off from livestock).
    • Pasture: Indicate any existing pasture areas located on the property including areas that are either grazed or proposed for grazing
    • Pest Animals: Describe how pest animals (for example, rabbits) will be managed on the property. Indicate any existing rabbit warrens and harbour (for example, log heaps, weeds such as blackberries and gorse).
    • Waterways: Identify any existing waterways and/or wetlands and describe how they will be protected and/or enhanced.
    • Wildfire: Describe how fire safety issues will be addressed (where appropriate, refer to the CFA Applicant’s Kit - Building in a Bushfire Management Overlay).
    • Erosion: Identify any existing erosion (gully or tunnel) and describe how they will be protected and addressed.

The following Council publications should prove useful when developing your plan

Revegetation on sites covered by the Environmental Significance Overlay

Please note: site-specific indigenous plants are to be selected for revegetation on sites covered by the Environmental Significance Overlay pursuant to the Nillumbik Planning Scheme. A thorough understanding of existing vegetation communities can be obtained where natural vegetation still exists on the property, and can be identified on site. Where sites have been previously cleared and no indigenous vegetation is evident, Council can often provide a list of the vegetation classes or communities that are assumed to have been present prior to European settlement. For vegetation classes for cleared sites, please contact Council’s Environmental Planning Unit on 9433 3210.


This advice is to be used as a general guide only. Council has made all reasonable effort to ensure the information is true and accurate. However, it is recommended that readers seek professional advice before acting or making decisions on the basis of this information. For any questions or clarification, please contact Council’s Planning and Building Services on 9433 3343.