Hoarding and Footpath Occupation Permit Application

Planting Your Nature-Strip
A well maintained nature-strip can make your house and street look great.
Increasing the diversity of plants will also have environmental benefits.
Read on to find out how to plan a successful and safe verge garden.
This is very important as service lines are
sometimes only a few centimetres under the
ground. Digging into a gas pipe or an electrical
cable with a misplaced stroke of a shovel can be a
fatal mistake. Individuals are liable for damage to
underground networks. If you are unsure about
what the symbols mean or how to proceed always
contact the relevant infrastructure owner FIRST
before commencing any excavation work.
About these Guidelines
The Guidelines and the associated Checklist are
intended to help verge gardeners improve the local
streetscape and avoid potential risks or future
Council has a duty of care to ensure public safety
and access are not jeopardised. Verge gardeners
also need to be aware of, and accept personal
responsibility for the risks inherent with working on
the road reserve.
Because it is public land, you must ensure that all
aspects of safety have been considered.
Essential things to consider before
you start…
A little preplanning can ensure that planting of the
nature-strip is done to a high standard of safety,
access and finish.
Are there pipes and service lines under the
ground? Check the location of services entering
your property, for example water service and phone
lines. Before you start work call Dial Before You
Dig on 1100 to see if there are any utility services
beneath your footpath. (www.1100.com.au).
You are responsible for preparing the ground,
supplying the plants and meeting any associated
costs. Residents assuming responsibility for the
care of verges must ensure they are kept in a safe,
clean, healthy and attractive condition free of
disease, foreign matter, dead plant material and
Be prepared to commit some time and effort and
only plant what you know you can continue to
maintain. For example, use plants that are low
maintenance, drought resistant and hardy. Better to
plant out a small area well than a larger area poorly.
If you are planting into lawn make sure it is clear to
others where the garden starts and finishes.
Plant height should be less than 1m at full maturity
so that sightlines to both pedestrians and vehicles
are maintained. Street trees will remain the
responsibility of Council, requests for new or
replacement trees should be directed to the Tree
Management Officer Ph 8595 2242.
Allow enough room for people to access vehicles
and open car doors. In most cases this means
having no plants within 600mm of the adjacent kerb
face. Alternatively, choose a hardy ground cover
species that will tolerate some trampling.
Leave space so that you and your neighbours can
put bins out for collection.
Allow pedestrian access through the garden at
4m intervals.
Allow a minimum 1.5m clear width along the
pedestrian footpath to allow for pedestrians to walk
and children to cycle. Some areas may not be
suitable for nature-strip plantings due to the
narrowness of the footpath or due to high
pedestrian volumes.
Do not install structures or barriers in the naturestrip unless specifically approved. For safety, avoid
items such as short stakes, rocks, tiles, fencing or
other items which may cause an obstruction or
present a trip hazard. Irrigation systems are not
Planting underneath street trees requires special
care. Never mound soil or any organic matter
against the tree trunk as this is not good for tree
health. To avoid damage to tree roots keep at least
50cm clearance around the tree trunk, allow greater
clearances for larger trees. Use hand tools to
carefully probe the soil surface, find void spaces
around tree roots that can allow for plantings. Any
roots that are uncovered must not be damaged.
Use tube stock or other small plants to avoid the
need to dig large holes. Where extensive tree roots
are present choose plants with shallow root
systems such as groundcovers.
If you have an interest in growing food plants its
best to find a community garden in your local area.
Growing food plants on the verge is not
recommended mainly due to the risks associated
with soil contamination. If you intend to use edible
plants you must, at your own cost undertake soil
What to plant
Drought hardy natives look good, are easy to look
after and are great for local biodiversity. Ultimately,
what you plant is a matter of taste and
consideration of site constraints, however in
choosing plants avoid…
plants with sharp edges, spines or thorns
toxic plants
noxious or environmental weeds, or
plants which drop excessive fruit
It's easy to find information on the subject of what
plants to grow via the internet or at the library. Have
a look around your local area to see what other
plants have successfully established. Councils
Community Nursery, commercial garden centres or
Councils Sustainable Streets Officer can help with
suggestions for suitable species.
Submitting the Checklist
Approval is dependent on all aspects of the
Checklist being agreed to and completed. A signed
copy should then be returned to Council.
1. Make sure you have read and understand
these Guidelines. If you have any questions or
would like to discuss your proposed verge garden
please contact Councils Sustainable Streets
Officer on 8595 2422.
Consider the safety of road users:
 do not leave tools on the footpath
 maintain safe pedestrian access at all times
 avoid mulch or soil spilling onto the path or into
the gutter.
 avoid any holes or trip hazards
 do not let plants encroach onto the footpath or
2. Plan your footpath garden. Useful things to
consider include the amount of sunlight the
garden will receive; the size, shape and slope of
your nature strip; where water will run off; what
sort of garden will work best; proximity to trees or
other gardens.
Utility companies, contractors and council
occasionally need to dig up the footpath or
nature strips. If this happens you will generally be
responsible for re-establishing your verge garden.
Be prepared to repair any damage including
vandalism. For these reasons it is worth considering
using plants that can be easily replaced by taking
cuttings or propagated by division.
4. Once you and your neighbours are happy with
your plans, fill out the Checklist and send it in to
Council may remove any plant or entire naturestrip plantings if the garden…
does not meet these guidelines
is not satisfactorily maintained
interferes with public access, parking, safety or
utility services.
3. Discuss your plans for a garden with your
neighbours and attempt to accommodate any
concerns they may have.
Fax: (02) 9335 2029
Email: council@marrickville.nsw.gov.au
Post: PO Box 14 Petersham, 2049
Drop off: 2-14 Fisher Street, Petersham
What happens next?
The Sustainable Streets Officer will be in touch and
will monitor verge gardens to ensure that all
aspects of the Guidelines are satisfied.
Verge Garden Checklist
If you have read the Verge Garden Guidelines and wish to proceed with a verge garden please return a
completed copy of this Checklist to Council. If you cannot answer YES for each, please call Councils
Sustainable Streets Officer on 8595 2422 to discuss.
Site Details and Gardening on the Verge
Tick box for Yes
 Is the verge you wish to plant out on a footpath outside your property?
 Have you checked for and located all underground pipes or cables in the vicinity of the work including
contacting Dial Before you Dig?
 Will the verge garden be free from structures or barriers, stakes, guide wires, rocks, tiles, fencing or other
items which may cause a hazard?
 Will the digging be undertaken using hand tools with excavation no deeper than 30cm?
 Are the plants going to be less than 1m high at full maturity?
 Will the works undertaken avoid the planting, pruning and damage of trees?
 Are the plants to be used free of thorns, spines and other sharp edges?
 Will the planting avoid the use of noxious or environmental weeds or plants that are known to be toxic?
 Will a sufficient distance be left around trees to avoid damaging existing root systems?
 Will the planting allow pedestrians to cross the garden with at least a 1m wide clearing at 4m intervals
 Is there enough room for opening car doors?
 Is there enough room for the placement of bins on service day?
 Will the garden be designed to prevent water, soil and mulch running off onto the road, footpath or drain?
 Will the verge be regularly maintained by you to ensure it remains safe, healthy, tidy, and attractive?
 Have residents of neighbouring properties been consulted about your footpath garden?
 If you are a resident of a strata scheme have you consulted with the Owners Corporation?
 If you are not the owner of the property fronting the proposed work, do you have their agreement in
I have read the Guidelines and completed the above Checklist accurately, I have answered yes to all the items
that are applicable. I assume responsibility for the planting and maintenance of the footpath garden outside
my property at the address below.
Full Name: __________________________________________
Email _____________________________________
Date ___________________