Zones and overlays show how your land can be used and developed. Every property in Whitehorse is zoned and this indicates the preferred land uses in an area. The main types of zones are residential, business and industrial.
Some properties also have overlay controls. Overlay controls protect things like heritage and vegetation or show areas that need special care, like areas that are prone to flooding.
To find out what zone or overlay applies to your property, type the address into the Whitehorse Planning Scheme. You can get a free property report with the zones and overlays of the property. You can print the map or read it online.
You should check the zone or overlay if you plan to buy a home, develop land or renovate your property.
The zone and overlay tells you what you can and cannot do on the land. The Whitehorse Planning Scheme lists the different zones and overlays and the ways they can be used and developed within the municipality. Alternatively, read through the summaries as set out below.
You can apply to Council to change the zone or overlays on your land. However, it is uncommon for Council to change the zone on only one property. Zones and overlays are usually changed for groups of properties or areas of land. A group of zones and overlays may change because of a change in Council’s planning policy.
The City of Whitehorse has a number of Significant Landscape Overlays (SLOs) that aim to identify significant landscapes as well as conserve and enhance these special areas in the municipality.
Within the Significant Landscape Overlay area, a planning permit is required to remove, destroy or lop a protected tree. A protected tree is one that has a single trunk circumference of 50 centimetres or more, when measured 1 metre above ground level.
A planning permit is also required for any works within four metres of a protected tree. See planning documents and forms for more information.
New buildings and extensions to existing houses in SLO areas (except SLO 4).
To help preserve the special character of an SLO area, there are controls over how much of a site can be built upon, the setbacks from boundaries/trees and the height of the buildings. This is to ensure that the built features come second to the vegetation.
Residents should consult with the Planning Department to identify whether or not a planning permit is required before removing any trees or undertaking any building works.
Any applications should be accompanied by the SLO Buildings and Works Checklist.
The Heritage Overlay seeks to conserve and enhance heritage places of natural and cultural significance and those elements which contribute to the significance of heritage places. It also aims to ensure that development does not adversely affect the significance of heritage places.
The schedule to the Heritage Overlay in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme contains details of the specific controls which apply to land and buildings affected by the overlay.
The purpose of the Design and Development Overlay is to identify areas which are affected by specific requirements relating to the design and built form of new development. There are currently three schedules to this overlay in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme:
The Neighbourhood Character Overlay seeks to identify areas of existing or preferred neighbourhood character and to ensure that development respects the neighbourhood character. It also aims to prevent, where necessary, the removal of buildings and vegetation before the neighbourhood character features of the site and the new development have been evaluated.
There are currently two schedules to the Neighbourhood Character Overlay in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme known as:
The Land Subject to Inundation Overlay identifies land in flood storage or flood fringe areas affected by the 1 in 100 year flood, or any other area determined by the floodplain management authority (Melbourne Water). It aims to ensure that development maintains the free passage and temporary storage of floodwaters, minimises flood damage, is compatible with the flood hazard and local drainage conditions and will not cause any significant rise in flood level or flow velocity.
Further, the overlay seeks to protect water quality in accordance with the provisions of relevant State Environment Protection Policies, particularly in accordance with Clauses 33 and 35 of the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria). There are no requirements in the schedule to the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme.
The Special Building Overlay is identifies land in urban areas liable to inundation by overland flows from the urban drainage system as determined by, or in consultation with, the floodplain management authority (Melbourne Water). It aims to ensure that development maintains the free passage and temporary storage of floodwaters, minimises flood damage, is compatible with the flood hazard and local drainage conditions and will not cause any significant rise in flood level or flow velocity.
Further, it seeks to protect water quality in accordance with the provisions of relevant State Environment Protection Policies, particularly in accordance with Clauses 33 and 35 of the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria). There are no requirements in the Schedule to the Special Building Overlay in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme.
The Public Acquisition Overlay seeks to identify land which is proposed to be acquired by a public authority. It also aims to reserve land for a public purpose and to ensure that changes to the use or development of the land do not prejudice the purpose for which the land is to be acquired.
The schedule to the Public Acquisition Overlay sets out which authority the land is intended to be acquired by and the proposed purpose of acquisition.
The Environmental Audit Overlay seeks to ensure that potentially contaminated land is suitable for a use which could be significantly adversely affected by any contamination. There is no schedule to the Environmental Audit Overlay in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme.
Vegetation Protection Overlays (VPO's) apply to properties with trees recognised as possessing special qualities. VPO's seek to identify significant vegetation and to conserve and enhance their special qualities. There are four schedules to the Vegetation Protection Overlay in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme which are known as:
Schedule 5 VPO5 Significant Exotic, Native and Indigenous Trees (28.61kB)
Within the Vegetation Protection Overlay, a planning permit is required to remove, destroy or lop vegetation included in:
Click on the links below for the relevant planning permit form or to view a copy of the incorporated documents.
Within the Vegetation Protection Overlay, Schedules 2 and 4, a planning permit is required to remove, destroy or lop vegetation that has a single trunk circumference of one metre or more, when measured at one metre above ground level.
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