Development Planning on a Land Subject to Special Building Overlay (SBO)

Since October 2016, the City of Greater Geelong is the referral/responsible authority to assess plans, provide flood advice/consent and determine the requirements for development planning on lands subject to SBO.

The purpose of an SBO is to ensure that a development maintains free passage and storage of floodwater and to address any risk to the development as well as to others from stormwater flooding.  More specifically, the following requirements are generally applicable for developments in SBO areas:

Flood flow path: Works or buildings must maintain free passage of floodwater (must not obstruct/divert).
Flood impact and storage: Works or buildings must not adversely impact neighbouring, upstream or downstream areas, nor reduce floodwater storage capacity.
Flood damage safety: The floors of main and non-habitable (garages, outbuildings like storage sheds etc.) buildings be built above the Applicable Flood Levels by at least 30 and 15 centimetres respectively.
Site safety: Developments should not occur where the depth and flow of floodwater on a property or will be hazardous.
Access safety: The depth and flow of floodwater affecting access to a property must not be hazardous.

According to the Planning and Environment Act, the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) is responsible for assessing development applications in relation to flooding including SBO.  However, the City of Greater Geelong now assess such applications within the municipality.

We (The City) also provide flood advice including pre-application consent for VicSmart permit in relation to SBO.

The CCMA remains the referral authority for determining flood related requirements for developments on land subject to riverine or waterway flooding where the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) and Floodway Overlay (FO) are in-place.

An SBO defines areas at risk of stormwater flooding. A planning permit is generally required for buildings and works within an SBO. Exemptions to this can be found in the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme Ordinance Clause 44.05 from the link below.

Please obtain a flood advice before applying for a Planning/VicSmart Permit. This is to avoid unnecessary cost and delays due to any unsupportive outcome of your permit application. We endeavour to advise/respond within 28 days, depending on other work priorities. There is no application fee for this SBO advice/referral service.

If your land is affected by a SBO and you propose a development and/or need flood information/ advice/ VicSmart consent, please email the completed request form (available in our website as linked below) with necessary plans to [email protected] and/or contact the Stormwater Planning Team.

The Planning Scheme ordinance and maps of SBOs can be found on the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme Maps.

You can get a Property Report for your property from the Land Vic website.  This details all the planning zones and overlays (including SBOs) affecting your property.


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Page last updated: Friday, 20 December 2019

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