Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD)

On 18 October 2018 an Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Local Planning Policy was added to the Brimbank Planning Scheme. This ESD Policy strengthens our commitment to a more sustainable city.

The policy means you must now submit environmentally sustainable design measures with your Planning Permit Application.

The ESD Policy

  • seeks best practice in design, construction, and operation of new developments;
  • addresses sustainability themes such as energy performance, water resources, and transport; and
  • applies to all new residential, industrial, and commercial developments that need a planning permit. Table 1 of the Policy outlines development thresholds.

Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA): Small scale development

Your Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) sets out the sustainable design features of your proposed development.

You can use the Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) for your SDA. Submit a BESS report (or similar) with your planning application. This will fulfil the SDA needs under the new ESD planning policy.

It’s important to clearly annotate all relevant initiatives on your architectural drawings.

Typically, you shouldn’t need a sustainability consultant to prepare a Sustainable Design Assessment.

Sustainability Management Plan (SMP): Large scale development

A Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) is more detailed than an SDA.

In your SMP you‘ll state

  • the sustainable design features of your development; and
  • how you’ll achieve performance outcomes (including implementation schedules).

A BESS report alone will not satisfy the needs of the new ESD planning policy for a Sustainability Management Plan.

Larger developments provide opportunities for more environmental benefits and major resource savings. Hence, more detail for a SMP is needed.

You’ll generally need a sustainability consultant to help with your SMP.

Tools which may help with planning permit applications

  • BESS is a free, online sustainability assessment tool. It’s purpose-built for the planning application stage. It can assess single dwellings, multi-dwellings, non-residential, and mixed use developments of any size.
  • STORM is a free, online calculator. It tests your site for best practice water quality objectives. Melbourne Water manages STORM.
  • MUSIC is a stormwater modelling tool. You can buy it from eWater.
  • Green Star is a green building certification system. It’s run by the Green Building Council of Australia. You can use the Green Star Design and As Built rating tool for large developments.

For more information, contact our ESD Officer on 9249 4606.