Introduction to Erosion Management Overlays


Council has been working with and supporting highly impacted residents following the June 2021 storm which destroyed several homes in the Yarra Ranges. This support includes providing free dedicated planning advice and counselling.

All land has some form of planning controls and the steep slopes that some properties are on in the Dandenongs means that there is a risk of landslip – which is why an Erosion Management Overlay (EMO) covers part of this location – and many others in Victoria.

Overlays are part of the Victorian Planning Scheme which is applied by Yarra Ranges Council. This Overlay was introduced in 2000 following a number of landslides that caused deaths elsewhere in Australia.

The steep slopes, combined with the extensive loss of the trees in the storm which had previously helped bind the soil, has exposed the soil structure, further increasing the risk of landslip.

In order to assess the level of risk that a piece of land has, a Geotechnical Assessment needs to be undertaken by a specialist company. That assessment provides a level of risk that applies to the land and potential property. This is an early step in the planning application process for properties that are covered by an EMO. 

If a geotechnical assessment reports a ‘moderate’ or higher risk of property loss, that cannot be mitigated, a planning permit cannot be approved by Council as it does not comply with the current Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme.

Understanding what planning controls apply to your home is important and residents can find out what overlays apply by contacting our planning officers or searching the and entering your suburb.

Even if you do have an Erosion Management Overlay applied to your land, it does not mean that it will necessarily be a risk. Only a geotechnical report will provide you with that information.