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Metro Tunnel

Design and development overlay

A planning permit is required to undertake certain works in the vicinity of the Metro Tunnel alignment to protect the new infrastructure being delivered.

What is a Design and Development Overlay?

The Design and Development Overlay (DDO) within each planning scheme provides an assessment process for the design and construction of certain types of new development. The objective of the DDO is to protect the underground tunnels, stations and other infrastructure during the construction and future operation of the Metro Tunnel.

The DDO will not preclude future development from taking place above or near the tunnels and stations, but rather ensures that development does not adversely affect the project's infrastructure. It also means that developers and decision-makers will consider the underground infrastructure early in designing and delivering future developments.

The proposed DDO was exhibited as a part of a public process. It was reviewed by an independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee assessing the project's Environment Effects Statement, prior to being approved by the Minister for Planning and gazetted.

Is my property affected?

The following maps were added to the Planning Schemes of City of Melbourne, City of Port Phillip and City of Stonnington in 2017. The maps show the boundaries of the DDO, where planning permission is required.

To see if your property is affected, view the attached maps and check whether your property is fully or partly covered by the DDO:

Changes to the Design and Development Overlays

The Tunnels and Stations Planning Scheme Amendment (GC82) of 2018 updates the Design and Development Overlay (DDO) maps based on refinements to the design and construction of the tunnels and stations.

These changes will further protect the Metro Tunnel infrastructure from future nearby developments.

Alternatively, visit Planning Maps Online, input your property address to the left of the screen, click search. When the property is identified, click 'Get Report' (top left), then 'Create Planning Property Report' to see if the Metro Tunnel DDO is an overlay that affects your property.

Do I require a planning permit?

Undertaking the following building works within the DDO area requires a planning permit:

  • Demolish or remove a building or works that are more than two storeys or include a basement of more than one storey.
  • A new building if it is:
    • more than two storeys; or
    • with a basement; or
    • with a footing founded more than two metres below Surface Level.
  • A temporary structure of more than one storey.
  • Earthworks or excavation that change the Surface Level by more than one metre.
  • A pole, sign or retaining wall if any footing is founded more than two metres below Surface Level.
  • An underground utility if any trench is more than two metres below Surface Level.
  • Internal and external alterations to a building if there are works below Surface Level.
  • Tramway works if any earthworks change the surface level by more than one metre or works are more than two metres below Surface Level.
  • Road works if any earthworks change the Surface Level by more than one metre or works are more than two metres below Surface Level.
  • A rainwater tank with a capacity of more than 4,500 litres if there are works below Surface Level.
  • A domestic swimming pool or spa and associated mechanical and safety equipment associated with one dwelling on a lot if there are works below Surface Level.
  • Any works necessary to prevent soil erosion, or to ensure soil conservation or reclamation, if any earthworks change the Surface Level by more than one metre or works are more than two metres below Surface Level.

If your property is affected by the DDO and you intend to carry out building works listed above then a planning permit is required prior to works being undertaken.

Assessment of planning applications

Generally you must apply to your local Council (Melbourne, Port Phillip or Stonnington) for planning permission.

These applications must be assessed by Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) to make sure that the Metro Tunnel infrastructure is not adversely impacted by the development.

When a planning application is made to the local Council it will be referred to RPV for review and a decision will not be made until this review has been undertaken.

If you intend to construct a building or carry out works on land affected by the DDO, it is recommended that you contact us by completing the Application for Pre-Planning Advice form.