The Narara Ecovillage (the Village) is committed to creating an environmentally sustainable community. A critical component in achieving this commitment is ensuring that residential and landscaping development meets appropriate environmental standards and aligns to the principles of sustainability, liveability and affordability.
The Scope of the Narara Ecovillage Landscape Standards & Guidelines (as outlined in CMS s41.3) includes:
- Community Property; and
- Lots in the Community Plan (private lots)
The Narara Ecovillage Landscape Standards & Guidelines addresses:
- The Community Association’s Policy on use of Poisonous Substances and on Weeds, Prohibited and Recommended plants;
- Conditions of the Stage One Development Application, including the Bushfire Management Plan, the Ecological Restoration Plan, the Cultural Heritage Management Plan; and
- The landscaping principles established in the Hill Thalis Design Report and the Thompson Berrill Landscape Plan.
2. Community Property Landscaping
Planting on Community land will be guided by the following documents (some of which are requirements of the Council Stage One D.A):
- Ecological Restoration Plan (Robert Payne, Dec 2013, updated 2015);
- Conservation Management Plan Review 2013(Chris Betteridge-Musecape Pty Ltd) and the Plan accompanying s96 (modification of Consent);
- Conditions of Consent (Gosford Council - Development Application 011.2013.00044994.001);
- Conditions of s96 modifications of Consent;
- Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) - Stage 1 Subdivision infrastructure and associated works (Sara Roach & Michael Woodland);
- Hill Thalis Design Report;
- Landscape PlanNEV-LP-01 (Thompson Berrill Landscape Design P/L, Feb 2016) and any subsequent approved amendments; and
- Middle Gully Landscape Plan (Thompson Berrill Landscape Design P/L)
Note: Section 96 (s96) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 addresses post-consent applications to modify a Development Consent.
Management of Community Property Landscape Planting is the responsibility of the Community Association (CA). The CA may contract out components of this role.
3. Key Considerations for Landscaping of Lots in the Community Plan (Private Lots)
Issues that should be considered in preparing a landscape plan for a private lot include:
- Minimising potential obstruction of solar access for neighbours (and for the thermal performance of the dwelling on the lot)
- Minimising Bushfire hazard and complying with legislative requirements for asset protection (fuel load and any Asset Protection Zone requirements etc.);
- Minimising the risk of potential infrastructure damage from invasive roots;
- Avoiding danger from trees likely to drop large branches;
- Exclusion of weeds, prohibited plants and plants that might be invasive;
- Exclusion of plants that are potentially hazardous to health;
- Incorporation of Permaculture principles.
NB: Some other above issues are subject to external regulation (e.g. Bushfire requirements and noxious weed declaration); others may be guided by planning approval conditions; while other matters are subject to NEV or CMS guidelines.
Solar Access Considerations
Solar access considerations should include both Solar panels (photovoltaic and water heater panels) and winter window shading (for access to natural light and passive solar heating). As a general rule the height of trees should be selected and maintained so as not to impact their neighbour’s solar access.
Bushfire requirements are largely set by the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating available from the Rural Fire Services website. See the following link (as at 2 Oct 2016):
- the “Bushfire Protection Assessment Report” by Travers Bushfire and Ecology (Aug, 2015) available via the Central Coast’s ePlanning Portal. The following link (as at 2 Oct 2016):
- Bushfire Protection Assessment - Australian Bushfire Protection Planners (Graham Swain) Dec 2013:
Note: The current 10/50 vegetation clearing rules are also on the Rural Fire Services website. See the following link (as at 2 Oct 2016):
- NEV's planting guidelines within our Asset Protection Zone and Inner Protection Zone:
Plants with invasive roots should be avoided or kept well away from underground services, particularly sewage and storm water pipes. Both Sydney Water and Hunter Water publish useful guidelines. Hunter Water Guidelines are reproduced in Table A4.1. The website link (as at 2 Oct 2016) is:
Also, see the Sydney Water fact sheet “How you can help stop blockages - Tree planting and the wastewater system”. The website link (as at 2 Oct 2016) is:
Noxious weed declarations are regulated at a state level under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. The current legislation can be found on the NSW legislation website. The following link is current as at 2 Oct 2016:
The weed declaration status of individual plants can be checked on the Department of Primary Industries website. The website links (as at 2 Oct 2016) is:
Note: The Commonwealth Government provides strategic planning, and funding to support state and local governments for weed management. This is largely delivered via the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) program. Thirty two Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) have been agreed by Australian governments based on an assessment process that prioritised these weeds based on their invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts. Consideration was also given to their ability to be successfully managed. A list of 20 WoNS was endorsed in 1999 and a further 12 were added in 2012. See the Commonwealth Department of Environment website for details. The website links (as at 2 Oct 2016) is:
4. Landscape Design Approval for Lots in the Community Plan (Private Lot)
The Narara Ecovillage Landscape Approval Process requires that a Landscape Plan be submitted to, and approved by, the Building Review Panel before the Building Design is submitted to Council.
NB: Landscaping forms part of the NSW Government BASIX assessment, which has been incorporated in the NEV water and energy efficiency assessment.
5. Approval by the Building Review Panel (BRP)
The Applicant will submit the Landscape Plan to the BRP for Approval.
Should an Owner’s Building Design not meet the Narara Ecovillage Landscape Standards & Guidelines, then the BRP shall notify the Owner with the details in each Category where the design failed.
6. Council Approval
Once the Applicants have obtained the approval of the BRP, the Landscape Plan shall be forwarded to:
- The Central Coast Council (Council) for approval, and
- to the Building Review Panel for archiving.
If the Council:
- approves the Landscape Plan, the Applicant shall provide a copy of the decision with any conditions to the Building Review Panel.
- does not approve the Landscape Plan, the Applicant shall notify the BRP, redesign the Landscape Plan, and submit the documents to the Building Review Panel, only, for approval before seeking further Council approval.
Appendix 1 - Trees to Avoid Planting Near Sewer Pipes
From Hunter Water website
The following table is a basic guide only. You should consult your local nursery or an arborist if you still have concerns about planting a particular species
Table A4.1: Trees to Avoid Planting Near Sewer Pipes
Fig Trees & Rubber Plants
Large Gum Trees
Norfolk Island & Bunya Pines
Illawarra Flame Tree
Australian White Cedar
Norfolk Island Hibiscus
Canary Island Date Palm
Brush Box, Tristania