Plant a self-assessable verge garden
  • Last updated:
  • 02 Dec 2019

Council has developed self-assessable criteria[1199KB] to support residents wishing to enhance or beautify the road verge in front of their property. Verge gardens could include native, edible or rain gardens. 

The road verge is the area of land between your property boundary and the road. The typical road verge within our region consists of grass, footpath and a council provided street tree.

The self-assessable criteria allows residents to utilise the verge for planting a garden, while retaining access for pedestrians, underground utilities and trees.

Creating a garden that meets the self-assessable criteria does not require council approval.

To be eligible for planting under self-assessment, the vegetation must satisfy all criteria at all times. Criteria may be subject to change.

Planting options

The following planting options are available to residents.

The Road Verge Planting List[365KB] provides a selection of approved species that fit with the character and theme of the Sunshine Coast. 

Garden beds

  • Low growing gardens can be planted anywhere within the verge where appropriate access is maintained.
  • Plants may be up to 50cm high at maturity.
  • Gardens must be set back from the road edge by 60cm.
  • Where there is no formed path on the verge, a minimum 1.8m width must be left clear for pedestrian access
  • Only bio-degradable mulches such as wood-chip, leaves and compost to be used. Mulch must be contained within the garden bed area ensuring that it does not become a slip or trip hazard to pedestrians or be placed in a way that it may enter waterways.

Hedges

  • Hedges planted against the property boundary can encroach out 80cm from boundary line.
  • Can grow to 1.5 m high at maturity.
  • A 1 m setback from the driveway is required to maintain sight lines.

It is important to refer to the Guidelines for planting a self-assessable verge garden[1199KB] for a full list of the self-assessment criteria and examples for verge planting. 

If you wish to plant anything outside this list or self-assessable criteria, you will need to apply for a permit.

Note that infrastructure and landscaping approved through the development assessment process is exempt from this criteria.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, if you would like to create a garden that does not fit within the criteria you can apply for a permit.

There are also a range of community gardens located across the Sunshine Coast.

Refer to Verge permit for planting and infrastructure and Community Gardens for more information.

Yes, you can start planting at any time as long as the garden meets the self-assessment criteria.

Council encourages residents to Dial Before You Dig. This free service provides information on underground utilities to ensure there are no services located within your proposed garden that may be impacted. Visit www.1100.com.au or phone 1100.

If you move into a home with an established verge garden, you are welcome to take on responsibility of the garden. If you choose to retain the garden, you must ensure it complies with the self-assessment criteria.

Alternatively, you can remove the garden and reinstate the verge to natural turf.

If you are moving house, it would be appreciated for you to invite the next home owner to take care of the verge garden. If they do not wish to take care of it, please reinstate the verge to natural turf before you leave the property.

Where access to the road verge is required by a utility company, they will often cause damage to the surface area or surrounding infrastructure and usually re-establish this area with turf. They do not normally cover costs to reinstate additional beautification or infrastructure treatments.

  • Street trees: if you would like a street tree please lodge a request via council's customer service centre.
  • Properties located on roads with a speed limit exceeding 50 kilometres per hour (for safety reasons). If you live on a road that exceeds this speed limit, a verge garden permit application can be submitted for assessment.

You are required to undertake all maintenance, keep the garden well presented and in a safe condition and ensure that the vegetation adheres to the criteria at all times.

If at any time the vegetation poses a safety risk or doesn't meet the criteria, council may intervene.

More information

Refer to the links below for more information on verge planting or clearing:

If you have any feedback or questions, contact council