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Metro Tunnel Design and Development Overlay (DDO)

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) and the related incorporated document, Melbourne Metro Rail Project – Infrastructure Protection Areas Incorporated Document, December 2016 (PDF), within each planning scheme (Melbourne, Port Phillip and Stonnington) provide an assessment process for the design and construction of certain types of 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 Melbourne, Port Phillip and Stonnington Planning Schemes 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:

Alternatively, use the VicPlan website to search for your property and generate a property report to see if the Metro Tunnel DDO is an overlay that affects your property.

Due to the nature of the Metro Tunnel Project the mapping may be subject to change over time.

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 any of the building works listed above, then a planning permit is required prior to works being undertaken.

*Surface Level means the level of the land at any point to Australian Height Datum (AHD) on 5 January 2017 as supplied by the relevant referral authority.

**Melbourne Metro Rail Project – Infrastructure Protection Areas Incorporated Document, December 2016 (PDF)

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 or its construction 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 prior to lodging an application with the Responsible Authority.