Stormwater and clause 56 of the Victoria Planning Provisions

The revised clause 56 (residential subdivision) of the Victoria Planning Provisions came into effect on 6 October 2006.

The clause 56 provisions implement the neighbourhood principles set out in Melbourne 2030 – planning for sustainable growth to deliver more sustainable built environments. Its objectives support and promote walking, cycling, public transport, the neighbourhood street network, integrated water management and subdivision construction site management.

The integrated water management provisions (clause 56.07 – integrated water management) provide a more sustainable basis for managing water in residential subdivisions by conserving potable (drinking) water, providing opportunities for reusing and recycling water for non-drinking purposes and managing the quality as well as quantity of urban run-off.

In particular, the urban run-off management objectives (clause 56.07‒4) address urban stormwater, and will contribute to improved stormwater water quality and assist in achieving the objectives of the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria). The standards to be met include performance objectives set out in the Urban stormwater best practice environmental management guidelines (BPEMG). These standards can be met by incorporating water sensitive urban design (WSUD) elements as part of the drainage system.

WSUD is a sustainable urban water management approach which regards stormwater as a resource. It integrates sustainable water initiatives such as recycled water (wastewater and stormwater), while at the same time protecting and enhancing natural urban waterways. The main goals are water sustainability and environment protection.

There are a number of guidelines, engineering ‘design’ manuals, software modelling packages (STORM, MUSIC) and training courses available to assist the development industry and local government to design and construct appropriate WSUD technology and meet the BPEM objectives for urban stormwater.

EPA has produced Maintaining water sensitive urban design elements as a manual to help local government with maintenance issues and costs associated with WSUD structures.

The site management objectives (clause 56.08‒1) require that subdivision planning permit applications describe how the site will be managed to minimise environmental impacts such as erosion and sediment, run-off and litter. This will also assist in achieving the objectives of SEPP (WoV), and ensuring that construction works are managed effectively to prevent and minimise run-off of sediments and other pollutants to surface waters.

For further information on clause 56 and the establishment of the Office of Living Victoria, go to DSE’s website. The Office of Living Victoria will lead the process to amend the Victoria Planning Provisions to apply the current performance requirements of clause 56.07‒4 for the management of stormwater more broadly.


Page last updated on 5 Nov 2014