The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) has been updated to include certain areas within your local planning scheme where pre-set bushfire protection measures have been established and can be used to fast track and simplify the planning application process. These areas are included as a schedule to the BMO.
If your land is located in a schedule to the BMO and you prepare an application that meets the pre-set requirements, your application will have simplified application requirements and not require referral to CFA. This will limit application costs and save you time going through the planning process.
CFA highly recommends using the pre-set requirements and making your application via the streamlined assessment process. However, you may choose not to use the schedule and make an application via the normal application process under the BMO. This will require you to meet all of the application requirements and provide a bushfire hazard site assessment, a bushfire landscape hazard assessment (where applicable) and a bushfire management statement addressing the relevant bushfire controls.
What is the purpose of a BMO schedule?
Schedules contain locally-specific bushfire protection measures that replace those set out in the Victoria Planning Provisions (Clause 44.06 Bushfire Management Overlay and Clause 52.47 Bushfire Protection: Planning Requirements). A schedule may also state that a requirement in Clause 52.47 applies.
Bushfire protection measures can be tailored to:
- Make them responsive to the local context.
- Provide more certainty for landowners on how the relevant bushfire standards apply to their land.
- Provide guidance on how responsible authorities and fire authorities will exercise discretion when considering a planning permit application.
Schedules streamline the process for applicants, council and CFA by:
- Removing the need to carry out individual bushfire site assessments
- Detailing simpler application requirements
- Removing mandatory referral of applications to CFA if all of the requirements specified in the schedule are met.
Making an application in a schedule to the BMO
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has prepared a Fact Sheet - Smarter bushfire protection measures for single dwellings October 2017 to assist you in preparing your application using the schedule to the BMO.
What do most schedules contain?
Most of the schedules that have recently been introduced into local planning schemes provide a number of preset requirements, they include:
- the relevant construction standard (Bushfire Attack Level)
- the area of defendable space required and how vegetation in the area of defendable space must be managed.
- Water supply and access requirements. These typically relate to the size of the land and are the same requirements should you opt not to use the schedule process.