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This page provides an overview of a selection of some of the best available guidelines, tool and resources to guide professionals to the specific information they need when integrating Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in new developments.
This page will be regularly updated as new resources become available.
This Online Navigator Tool has been developed to assist local planning authorities, developers, consultants, planning permit applicants and broader industry practitioners to identify what statewide stormwater planning provisions apply to subdivision or buildings and works developments within Victoria.
No. This tool covers all WSUD and stormwater management planning requirements for the state of Victoria. Further to these state-wide stormwater planning provisions, there may be Council-specific planning requirements or guidelines for stormwater management (including on-site detention requirements) that might apply. It is advised that you consult your local council regarding these as part of pre-application discussions.
The new provisions ensure that stormwater generated from all forms of urban development, not just residential subdivision and apartment developments, is managed in an integrated way to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff on the environment, property and public safety, and to provide cooling, local habitat and amenity benefits.
Where stormwater management planning requirements apply, planning permit applicants need to demonstrate their compliance with these requirements. This generally entails preparing and submitting a Stormwater Report to the relevant council, to be assessed as part of the overall planning application. Assessment of stormwater management is important as urban development typically increased the amount of stormwater runoff and associated pollutants which, if not appropriately managed, can cause environmental, social and economic impacts. This includes risks to human and waterway health, amenity, property and liveability.
The increase in stormwater from urban development can impact the health and amenity of our waterways. Large volumes of stormwater entering our waterways can cause flooding that damages both natural and built environments. Traditional stormwater management practices direct stormwater into drainage systems that are directly connected to urban waterways, carrying pollutants to our rivers and bays. Stormwater flows also impact waterways by scouring creek and riverbeds and degrading aquatic habitat through unnatural flows. Newer ‘Water Sensitive Urban Design’ techniques reduce these impacts and also make better use of stormwater as a resource, which saves wasting water.
You can find Victorian Planning schemes here: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/schemes-and-amendments/browse-planning-schemes
Your local council planning department can provide more information on the stormwater management requirements relating to your development site.
Also check out the Victorian Stormwater Planning Requirements - Resources on this page.
No, a report from this portal is not mandatory for planning permit applications. This portal is a non-statutory support tool to provide guidance to applicants and assessors.
While you can develop your own Stormwater Assessment report, we highly recommend consulting a suitably qualified professional to get this report done so as to ensure accurate assessment, swift Council/local Government approval and best implementation of Water Sensitive Urban Design.
It is highly recommended that you consult your local council regarding stormwater management as further to state-wide stormwater planning provisions, there may be Council-specific planning requirements for stormwater management that might apply (as well as additional on-site detention requirements). It is recommended that this be confirmed directly with the relevant local council as part of pre-application discussions. It is also noted that there is a general planning requirement for applications to demonstrate how they have been designed to maintain or improve the quality of stormwater within and exiting the site.
If you are unsure of the zoning of your site, access the VicPlan tool administered by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. By using the search function and entering in your address, you can generate your own planning property report setting out applicable zones, overlays, utilities and other useful information. If you are still unsure of the relevant zone, please contact your local council.
If your zone is not listed in the Online Navigator Tool, a Stormwater Assessment may be required, based on the specific requirements of the zone and any schedules which may apply. It is recommended that you contact Council to confirm this directly.
A Stormwater Assessment may be required if an approved Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) applies. The applicable stormwater planning provisions are determined by the future land use identified in the PSP for the site, and the “applied zone” listed in the zone schedule for that land use.
More information on the Urban Growth Zone and PSPs can be found here: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/97307/PPN47-Urban-Growth-Zone_June-2015.pdf
All PSPs, together with their current status, can be identified via the VPA’s Interactive Status Map at: https://vpa.vic.gov.au/greenfield/interactive-status-map/
In Development Services Schemes (DSSs), Melbourne Water holistically plans stormwater management for the whole catchment-based scheme area, with developers contributing to scheme costs. If your development site is located within a Melbourne Water Development Services Scheme (DSS), the relevant planning policies still apply. However, the DSS will generally address most of the stormwater management planning requirements through the proposed scheme works (this should be clarified with the relevant council).
To find out if your development site is located within a DSS, visit: https://www.melbournewater.com.au/building-and-works/developer-guides-and-resources/drainage-schemes-and-contribution-rates/find-your#/
Melbourne Water has developed the Stormwater Treatment Objective- Relative Measure (STORM) Calculator as a method of simplifying the analysis of stormwater treatment methods. The STORM Calculator is designed for the general public to easily assess Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) measures on their property.
The tool has been developed specifically for small residential and industrial developments to rate how well different properties treat stormwater and to compare them against a common measurement system. STORM can be used to assess whether best practice water quality objectives have been achieved for your site. Results of STORM assessments can be submitted to statutory authorities along with development applications to demonstrate compliance with objectives.
You can access STORM here: https://storm.melbournewater.com.au/
More information on STORM: https://storm.melbournewater.com.au/help/about_storm.asp
MUSIC stands for Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation. It is a computer model representing a project or catchment area, the drainage connections and a series of stormwater treatments. It simulates rainfall, stormwater runoff and pollution and is used for large scale, more complex projects.
To learn more about MUSIC visit: https://www.melbournewater.com.au/building-and-works/stormwater-management/storm-and-music-tools
InSite Water is an integrated water management (IWM) and stormwater assessment tool for use on single lots or small-scale development sites (less than 10,000 square metres).
To know more about InSite visit: https://insitewater.com.au/
The STORM (Stormwater Treatment Objective - Relative Measure) calculator is typically used to model stormwater treatments for smaller developments and subdivisions, while MUSIC (Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation) is used for more complex projects. Specifically, STORM can only model one treatment per sub-catchment area, whereas MUSIC can modelled a ‘treatment train’ (multiple WSUD treatment types in sequence).
STORM was originally developed based on MUSIC modelling.
The STORM calculator is a simplified version used to design small residential and commercial developments, ensuring they achieve the stormwater treatment objectives required by state and local government planning provisions.
MUSIC itself is more sophisticated and allows the user to adjust many design dimensions and model a series of treatments.
To learn more about MUSIC and STORM visit: https://www.melbournewater.com.au/building-and-works/stormwater-management/storm-and-music-tools
Some Councils might specify permit conditions requiring submission and approval of a Site Management Plan demonstrating how erosion and sediment run-off to drains is to be managed during construction to maintain the quality of stormwater exiting the site. Including a SMP in your application for a permit may help expedite the process. You can have a discussion with your Council asking if a SMP will be required for your development.
Yes. It is suggested that you document post-occupation operational and maintenance arrangements to ensure ongoing effective operation of all WSUD treatments / stormwater management systems. This may include identifying responsibilities and provision of design details, inspection frequency and maintenance schedules to owners.