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Trees, common nature strips and Councils: Know your rights “Our land abounds in Nature Strips...”

13 February 2020

Your house gives you the opportunity to make the most of your garden, turning it into a pleasant environment for you and your family to enjoy.

At the same time this comes with rules and responsibilities.


A nature strip – the strip of land between a residential property boundary and the roadway is owned by your Local Council and has other uses. It reduces storm water runoff and adds a touch of greenery.

Some people extend their garden onto the strip, but it does vary from Council to Council as to whether the nature strip can be converted into a garden. You should check with your Local Council as to whether approval is required as the nature strip is not owned by you.

The construction of gardens or other plantings needs to be treated carefully as insurance issues could arise which could affect your liability if someone were injured as a result of unauthorised changes to the nature strip.

Whilst you are not the owner of the nature strip its maintenance is your responsibility as the landowner. It could be said that this is reflected in the level of rates you pay by taking responsibility of Council owned land.

What you can do with your nature strip is governed by the local laws of your local Council and will vary depending on where you live.

Even though a form of gardening in the nature strips adds native plants to the streetscape and also improves the biodiversity and adds structural complexity to the environment it would still be prudent to obtain the Council approval before you proceed.

If we at East Coast Law can assist you in anyway please call us on 1300327826 and ask for one of our Solicitors or Conveyancers who will be happy to assist you.

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