Use of road reserves (nature strips) for streetscape improvement
A nature strip is the strip of land between a residential property boundary and the formed road pavement. The nature strip is publicly owned land and not part of the adjacent private property.
Typically nature strips are planted with turf grass and street trees and shrubs. They are designed to provide a landscape component along street frontages, and have important functions, including:
- Public safety – nature strips provide a safe public walking area and allow motorists visibility of pedestrians and cyclists on nature strips
- Essential infrastructure – nature strips often house electricity, gas, telecommunications, fire hydrants, water, sewer services either above or below ground
- Unified streetscapes – well designed and maintained nature strips create unified streetscapes which can contribute to property values
- Places for trees – Fraser Coast suburban nature strips are home to thousands of street trees which soften, cool and provide urban wildlife habitat
- Cooling effect – vegetated nature strips contribute to keeping our suburbs cooler in hot weather and allow water to infiltrate into the soil rather than run off into our waterways.
The nature strip is part of the road reserve and although it is managed by Council, Council does not generally undertake regular maintenance, but relies upon residents to perform this function to maintain an attractive streetscape.
Council understands that there are some residents who would like to beautify the nature strip in front of their residential properties, or use the land to grow vegetables or flowers.
To allow this, Council has recently adopted a policy and procedures to enable residents to seek approval for this activity.
Responsibility for Approved Plantings
The property owner immediately adjacent to the nature strip is responsible for any garden plantings or other landscape improvements approved to be planted under this scheme. Should the property owner no longer wish to maintain the landscaping improvements, the improvements must be removed and the nature strip returned to grass at the owner’s cost.
Trees and shrubs must be pruned to allow a pedestrian or cyclist full access to the nature strip width and a 2.2 metres vertical clearance above the nature strip, and plantings must be maintained to ensure that the line of sight is maintained between the road and nature strip, and to ensure the safety of the public.
Residents are also responsible for pruning trees and shrubs growing on their private property which overhang the nature strip from their garden.
To keep pets, children and waterways safe use organic gardening practices – do not use snail bait or chemical sprays on the nature strip.
Please download Council policy: Use of road reserves (Nature Strips) for streetscape improvement (PDF,950kB) for approval checklist and clearance zones prior to submitting an application form.
Maintain Access for service providers
The Nature strip contains access pits for services including telecommunications, electricity, fire hydrants, water valves etc. These access chambers are generally located on the property boundary. To maintain access a 1 metre clearance on each side of the access pit must be provided with a minimum of 2 metres clear strip from the road edge to the pit. This will minimise any damage to landscaping by service providers that need access.
Application and assessment process
- Complete and submit the Use of Road Reserves (Nature Strips) for Streetscape Improvement (PDF,188kb) application form.
- Allow 28 days for Council to process the application.
- Works should not commence prior to receipt of an outcome of your application.
Dial before you dig
Before starting any work on Council's nature strip check with Dial before you dig 1100.com.au or phone 1100 during business hours. Enquiries are free.
Nature strips may contain essential services that need to be accessed. The Fraser Coast Regional Council or public utility providers are not responsible for reinstating any landscaping installed on the nature strip by residents, such as irrigation equipment, gravel, plants or edging.
The use of Council controlled nature strips and road reserves is managed through the Fraser Coast Regional Council Local Laws. View the Local Laws.