Skip to main content

Planning Scheme Amendment to flood overlays

Published on 13 September 2017

Lilydale road-Closed-Flood-YRC-web

Changes to flooding overlays have been proposed by Melbourne Water for parts of the Yarra Ranges which are susceptible to flooding.

An “overlay” is a planning control designed to control development in relation to a particular issue, such as heritage, bushfire, or in this case flood risk. It is mapped in planning scheme maps, and also has a written part (ordinance) which describes how the control works.

The changes proposed by Melbourne Water affect two overlay controls – the Land Subject to Inundation Overaly (LSIO) and the Special Building Overlay (SBO), which were introduced into the Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme in the early 2000s.

The overlays are in place to ensure that affected land is developed in a way that reduces the potential for flooding and minimises the risk of damage to properties.

Director of Social and Economic Development Ali Wastie said the amendment proposed to update flood overlay mapping to better reflect current conditions.

“Since the planning controls were introduced, Melbourne Water has developed more advanced flood mapping and modelling,” Ms Wastie said.

At the 12 September meeting, Council resolved to request that the Planning Minister Richard Wynne authorise the preparation and public exhibition of the proposed planning scheme amendment.

Once Council receives authorisation from the Minister, all relevant land owners will be notified and Melbourne Water will assist Council to meet affected residents to explain the proposed changes.

Residents will have the opportunity to make a formal submission on the amendment via Have Your Say on Council’s website during the upcoming community consultation, expected to occur in October.

Who will be affected by proposed changes?

Detailed mapping will be available during the public exhibition to allow the community to understand how their land will be affected. In summary, there are:

  • LSIO areas added are around waterways in Coldstream, Yering, Gruyere, Wandin, Wandin North, Wandin East, Silvan, Seville, Don Valley, Lysterfield, Belgrave Heights, Tecoma, Belgrave, Selby and Menzies Creek.
  • LSIO is proposed for the Little Yarra River upstream of Yarra Junction to Powelltown, and upstream of Warburton to Reefton.
  • LSIO areas are added in Lilydale in the Olinda Creek catchment.
  • SBO changes in Lilydale, Mooroolbark, Kilsyth and Montrose.
  • SBO proposed in the urban area of Coldstream.

While the amendment proposes to apply the LSIO to large rural areas, it is important farming activities can continue as normal without the need for a permit. Melbourne Water considers 100 cubic metres of fill on land will not compromise the intent of the LSIO, provided movement of water across the property does not change. A permit exemption for this is part of the proposal.

The Special Building Overlay (SBO)

When severe storms generate more water than the drainage system can carry, the excess runs downhill along natural flow paths or valleys. These overland flows usually happen with little or no warning, and can cause property damage and safety risks in low lying areas. The Special Building Overlay addresses this type of flooding.

Where flood risks from drainage system overflows exist, the SBO helps to reduce the risk of property damage, commonly by ensuring that floor levels of buildings are high enough to avoid most floods.

The Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO)

The LSIO relates to flooding caused by overflowing rivers and creeks. Many types of buildings and works in these areas require a planning permit, which allows Melbourne Water to guide how the development occurs in a way that will minimise flood risk.

Both overlays are based on land areas that are subject to a once per cent likelihood of a one in 100 year flood occurring in any given year.

Flood patterns can change due to urban development creating more hard surfaces that water runs off, by improvements to drainage systems, changes to land topography, construction of dams and levee systems, and other factors.

Yarra Ranges Council

For more details on the Planning Scheme and Amendment, please contact the Strategic Planning Department on 9294 6165 or

Melbourne Water

If you would like further technical information about the overlays, for example flooding impacts or flood levels, please contact Melbourne Water on 9679 7517 or

Join the discussion

Please read our comments policy carefully before contributing to the site.

Be the first person to comment.

Make a comment

  • * (Required) (This is what will appear on the site)
  • * (Required) (This will NOT appear on the site. We will only use your email address to let you know when your comment is published or if someone responds to it.)
  • * (Required) (Maximum 1200 characters)