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What's on City of Melbourne

Planning and works

Locality and road naming and premise numbering

Council is the responsible naming authority for localities (suburbs) and for almost all of the streets and lanes within the City of Melbourne. Council is also responsible for allocating numbers to properties

Australia Post is responsible for postal district naming and post code number allocations. When practical and possible, that authority makes the postal district names and extents agree with those of the related localities.

Actions are undertaken under policy and Council's Activities Local Law 2009.

New road names should relate to the historical and cultural connections of the locality and comply with the state's current Guidelines for Geographic Names that are established under the Geographic Place Names Act 1998 – visit VICNAMES for more information. These place a strong emphasis on avoiding 'duplicated' names, these being similar sounding or spelt names within a 5 kilometre radius of each other.

Roads will not be named after businesses and with very few exceptions they should not  be named after living persons.

The City of Melbourne is also responsible for changing the names of roads. However this is typically very difficult to achieve because each road name comes with its own history and  a change of name can have significant affects on property owners, occupiers and businesses.

Most property numbers are allocated within the subdivision process and to constantly changing building occupancies.

A prime issue for an address is that the premise number and the road name reflect the point of access to the property. Non-complying addresses will not be allocated for business branding or similar.

Alignments and abutting works

The adopted road alignments for the streets and lanes under Council's management will, in many cases, differ somewhat from the relevant title boundaries. This is due to the age of the municipality and the effects of many thousands of application surveys. However, generally there will be a close agreement between a road alignment and abutting title boundaries.

Developers and builders must ensure that new building works abutting Council's lanes do not overlap the physically paved road, which will generally approximate to the correct road alignment.

Laneways – public and private care and management

There are some 900 or so public laneways within the City of Melbourne that were constructed in the mid to late 1800’s by Council. The constructions were paid for by the owners of their abutting properties at the time of the works. Council has subsequently cared for and managed those laneways at the Corporation’s expense and these lanes are typically called “corporation lanes” or “public lanes”.  The lanes are now included in Council’s Public Roads Register under the Road Management Act 2004. The general public and the owners and occupiers of abutting properties benefit from Council’s activities, including cleansing, maintenance, parking control, re-constructions etc, in those lanes.

Similarly there are hundreds of laneways within the City of Melbourne that were never constructed by Council. Typically these laneways remain in the ownership of the original subdividers in the 1800s when they were set out for night-soil removal. Finding a current owner with any confidence is typically impossible and the process normally a fruitless and costly exercise. Council does not exercise care and management functions over these “private lanes”.

Owners and occupiers of properties abutting the public lanes benefit from Council’s services because of the construction contributions of their preceding owners.  This is not unlike any property buyer benefitting from and paying for the on-site improvements and assets they purchase. The City of Melbourne has very substantive road maintenance and repair and reconstruction budgets for managing these lanes.

A property's access and servicing rights over abutting lanes need to be justified before a planning permit can be issued for a development proposal that relies on the existence of such rights.

Discontinuance and purchase of roads

Council approves the discontinuance (closure) and sale of roads according to the provisions of Clause 3 of Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1989.

Council has established policies and procedures that apply to road discontinuances. These include all of Council's reasonable associated costs must be met and the land resulting from a discontinuance must be purchased from Council.

Conditional on the outcome of public consultation under that Act, Council has the power and complete discretion of discontinuing a road within its municipality.  All actions must be lawfully and properly carried out with a special focus on public consultation and the impartial consideration by Council of any submissions received in that process.

The discontinuance provisions of the Act can be applied to all roads within the scope and limitations of this policy, regardless of their size, location, importance, underlying ownership and public or private status.

Gazetting of a notice of discontinuance frees the land from all private and public rights and encumbrances save for certain rights and powers of the public authorities.

Unless the subject road is on Crown land, the gazetting vests the land in Council and Council can subsequently sell the land or retain it for municipal purposes.

The sale of lands resulting from discontinuance must be given public notice but is not open to submissions.

The discontinuance of a road is viewed a significant action because of the potential negative impacts a loss of a legal right of way can cause parties and the public.

A road must not be discontinued, if that action results in an outcome contrary to the interests of the general public. Unless a subject road is minor in scope and significance, a discontinuance of a road should benefit the general public. The discretion in regard to these rests fully with Council and the consideration must include factoring the need for the general public to access the road, apart from those of the owners and occupiers of properties abutting a road. 

Contact us

All roads enquiries should be directed to the City of Melbourne on 03 9658 9658.

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