Pop up laneway gardens

Laneways can be great locations to create a pop-up garden to share with your neighbours. To determine if your laneway is suitable for a pop-up garden, there are a few things that you need to consider:

  • The existing use of the laneway
  • Any vehicular or pedestrian access requirements
  • The type of laneway
  • Proximity to services like: parking signs, telecommunications pits, power poles. 

Check our Let’s Grow Together – How to Apply for a Pop-Up Laneway Garden guide for more information.

There are three main types of laneways in Yarra

By knowing the type of laneway, you determine the suitability of a pop-up garden in that particular laneway.

Type  Description  Suitable for garden? 
 Laneway type A  Laneway is extensively used by surrounding properties for regular vehicular access.  Not usually. A pop-up laneway garden will either be prohibited or in no way permitted to obstruct traffic or negatively impact adjacent community members.
 Laneway type B  Laneway is used by surrounding properties for intermittent vehicular access to off-street garages or carports or access.  Consent or permission may be granted with conditions to ensure partial or occasional access to neighbouring properties can be provided as needed.
 Laneway type C  Laneway is not used, or used rarely, by surrounding properties for vehicular access to off-street garages, carports or access.  Consent or permission may be granted with conditions to ensure partial or occasional access to neighbouring properties can be provided as needed.

How do I apply for a laneway garden?

Attend a workshop

  • You must attend a workshop before to submitting your application.
  • Workshops are held twice a year in March and September.
  • Workshops include detailed information on the application process as well as tips on making the most of growing in small spaces.
  • Most importantly, workshops provide an opportunity to ask questions and chat to our Urban Agriculture team.
  • Dates will be announced on our What's On Calendar several weeks prior to the event.
  • You can also keep up to date with workshop dates and other Urban Agriculture news by signing up to our Urban Agriculture e-newsletter.

Get approval from your neighbours

  • Once you have identified a suitable laneway, you need to speak to your neighbours to make sure that they are supportive of the plans.
  • All residents with properties abutting the laneway must be consulted.
  • A minimum of 85% of these neighbours must support your application for it to be approved.
  • Any objections over this threshold will be considered on their merit.

Submit your application

  • Submit your pop-up laneway garden application via email to our Urban Agriculture team. 
  • Once your application has been submitted, it will be formally assessed by Council's internal teams.
  • If successful, you will be notified by our Urban Agriculture team.
  • Pop-up laneway garden permits are valid for 12 months and expire in September. We will send you a renewal notification at this time.

How much does it cost?

  • There is also an annual permit renewal fee payable in September.
  • This fee will be outlined in the workshop and may vary.
  • The current maximum annual fee is capped at below $60 per year.

What are my responsibilities?

  • All pop-up laneway garden permit holders must maintain their containers and the area immediately surrounding the garden.
  • If the area is not maintained, your garden may be removed.
  • We provide public liability insurance, but if there is a claim against the garden, you will be responsible for paying the excess.
  • It is your responsibility to provide the planters/containers as outlined in your proposal.
  • It is important that the planter you select is suitable for the surface where it will be placed, be that the laneway, a wall or other.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that the container will not fall or in any way harm a member of the public.
  • We also ask that you consider the life cycle of your planters and the materials they are constructed from. If using timber it's vital to ensure its safe to grow food in and that all materials can be recycled.

How do I register my existing laneway garden?

If you have an existing laneway garden which is not registered with Yarra, please contact us.

The urban agriculture team can help you register your laneway garden and provide advice on suitable containers and food growing techniques.

Contact us