Temporary laneway gardens

Laneways can be great locations to create a temporary garden to share with your neighbours. To determine if your laneway is suitable for a temporary 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. 

Read our Urban Agriculture Guidelines (PDF 10.3MB) for more information.

There are three main types of laneways in Yarra

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

Laneway type Description  Suitable for garden? 
A Laneway is extensively used by surrounding properties for regular vehicular access. Not usually. A temporary laneway garden will either be prohibited or in no way permitted to obstruct traffic or negatively impact adjacent community members.
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.
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 much does it cost?

There is an annual fee for all temporary laneway gardens which contributes to administration, monitoring and insurance for the program.

  • Concession rates are available and the current maximum annual fee is capped at below $65 per year. This fee will be outlined in the workshop and may vary.
  • There is no fee for unsuccessful applications.

What are my responsibilities?

  • All temporary laneway garden permit holders must maintain their containers and the area immediately surrounding the garden.
  • 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 application.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that the container will not fall or in any way harm a member of the public.

How do I apply for a laneway garden?

Attend a workshop

Prior to submitting your application you must attend a workshop. This will help you understand the application process, how to successfully grow in small spaces and provide the opportunity to ask any questions.

  • Workshops are held online twice a year in March and August.
  • Register your interest to attend a workshop by emailing [email protected].
  • We will notify registrants of the workshop dates but you can also check the What's On Calendar for dates in the lead up to the workshops.

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

You will be sent the application form and supporting information the day after attending the workshop. Once your application is ready follow the instructions and submit your form online.

What happens next?

Once the Urban Agriculture team have received your application the process of verification and assessment takes approximately two months. You are then notified via email about the success of your application.

How do I register my existing laneway garden?

If you have an existing laneway garden which is not registered with Yarra, please email us at [email protected].

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