How a Bushfire Management Plan plays a crucial role in sub divisional approvals

Having to keep up with the frequent development in the laws and regulations for planning and construction in bushfire prone regions can be quite daunting for most of our readers. As Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessors we aim to take the stress out of Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessments for our clients. What most of our readers are still unaware of is that other than structural changes to your building, if you plan on subdividing your block, you will have to conduct a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment for your property. A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment will take into account all classified vegetation within a 100 m radius of the block and the separation distance of the block boundary from the classified vegetation and will determine a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating. If there is no classified vegetation within a 100 m radius, then the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating will result in a BAL-LOW. However, a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating above BAL-LOW which means a BAL-12.5 and above will warrant a Bushfire Management Plan for subdivisional approval. As per the SPP 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Regions, a subdivisional application will only be considered if jointly endorsed with a Bushfire Management Plan drafted by a BPAD accredited level 2 Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Practitioner such as ourselves that can support the property’s compliance with the bushfire protection criteria.

This may seem cumbersome to many but it can essentially be a lifesaving document in case of a bushfire. In order for the application to be considered, the block of land must achieve a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating of BAL-29 or below. This automatically decreases the bushfire risk by manifolds as a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating of BAL-29 is considered to be a moderate threat, as opposed to an extreme/high risk of Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating of BAL-FZ or BAL-40. The Bushfire Management Plan for a subdivision will also educate the landowner on the future management of vegetation on the block to reduce the fuel hazard. The future development on the newly subdivided block/s will also have ample vehicular and water access to ensure compliance with the bushfire protection criteria and to safeguard land and property in case of a bushfire.

If you are subdividing your property, it is mandatory to engage a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessor before you apply for the subdivisional approval to avoid any delays if you are located in a bushfire prone area. It would be wise to engage our BPAD accredited level 2 Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Practitioner instead of a level 1 as they we are qualified to write a Bushfire Management Plan in the case that your application requires one.

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