Bringing Projects Forward and Developing Out of Sequence – A Drainage Perspective


31 August 2021 - We spend a lot of time figuring out ways and coming up with ideas to help our clients bring their projects forward

By James Barker, Manager Water & Environment, PEAKURBAN

We spend a lot of time figuring out ways and coming up with ideas to help our clients bring their projects forward and develop ‘out of sequence’. Sitting back and waiting for ultimate drainage solutions to be provided often means nothing happens. Our clients would be waiting a long time to develop and that’s simply not an option. Our job is to drive the outcome and develop solutions to make it happen.

Melbourne Water, as the drainage authority, has created a network of Drainage Schemes, which are regional solutions to drainage for development. When development comes online, drainage approvals hinge on the site needing to tie into the predetermined scheme configuration.  Drainage approvals are becoming increasingly frustrating for developers who wish to develop their parcel now. Waiting years for downstream drainage works to come online is not viable. 

At PEAKURBAN we take a proactive approach and consider all options from the beginning of every project, working hard to find ways to unlock land and overcome delays. It begins with an options assessment within the planning phase of every project, with our Stormwater Management Strategies. This provides authorities the assurance we are meeting their legislative requirements for the environment and downstream landowners. It also provides our clients with clear deliverables for their development across its full construction lifecycle.

Some options at our disposal to unlock drainage approvals include:

Interim Storage

  • Required when downstream pipelines, waterways or retarding basins are not yet constructed.
  • Provides temporary flood storage to offset the increase in runoff from the Site due to development, protecting downstream landowners from risk of flood.
  • Achieved via providing flood storage near the property outlet. Typically located within future residential lots. Therefore, requires careful consideration to minimise footprints.

Interim Treatment

  • Required when downstream wetlands or raingardens are not yet constructed. Provides temporary treatment to protect downstream receiving environment from sediment laden water.
  • Achieved via sedimentation basins near the property outlet, or underground by a Gross Pollutant Trap.
  • Interim treatment may be required for several years, therefore careful consideration for maintenance needs to be applied.

Interim Outfalls

  • Required when downstream outfalls are not constructed or are unavailable, possibly due to level restrictions or nonreceptive landholders.
  • Provides a temporary discharge for the Site to the existing drainage network.
  • Achieved via temporary drainage, such as swales, sacrificial pipelines, pumping or even infiltration/evaporation.

Each site is different, and every solution requires early planning and ongoing discussions with Council/Melbourne Water to provide a fit for purpose solution.

If you have a parcel of land that you are looking to develop, are undertaking a due diligence assessment, or wish to learn more about developing out of sequence, we are always available to discuss your project and explore options.  

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