Siting for access

Learn how to improve access to your property

The objective of this section is to help site accessways to and from your property. We will also consider positioning structures in a way which minimises the risks associated with ingress (entrance) and egress (exit).


Access is taken to mean any movement onto or out of the property by you, other occupants, or emergency responders. It is important to note how many access points there are on your property (one or multiple) and whether there are any other means of access which you don’t not normally use, such as an adjoining oval, paddock or a neighbouring property.

The length of your driveway may depend on your specific context, such as the size of your lot, whether you are situated in a remote location and plan to shelter in place or are located close to an urban area. Different situations may require different solutions. Read the following information for general advice.


  • Identify any potential points of access (to and from the property) on your building plan in order to identify the best siting option or options.
  • Consider the benefits of a short driveway close to a main, public road versus a longer driveway.
  • If possible, use a short driveway that exits directly onto a public road (this is not recommended when the road verge has significant hazardous vegetation).
  • Identify any features on the property that might aid or hinder access to exit and entrance.
  • Reduce or eliminate tree strike and burning vegetation hazards from next to pathways.
  • Consider that a potential second exit could be through property of an adjacent block of land that has been cleared or contains managed vegetation.
  • Consider if the surrounding land (in the immediate vicinity of the house) is large enough to enable vehicles to turn?
  • Construct your access so that it can be used by fire trucks and other emergency services (defendable space CFA)


  • Avoid placing vegetation and other combustible elements close to accessways.
  • Don’t rely on one single exit path, have secondary options.
  • Don’t underestimate the intensity and toxicity of smoke you may encounter when attempting to navigate the path to your secondary shelter location.

A drawing comparing a good and bad example of siting a driveway. The good example has a short driveway connected to a public road which is clear of vegetation. The bad example features a long winding driveway surrounded by unmanaged vegetation.

Consider how you can reduce your exposure to vegetation when siting for access (source: CFA)

More information

If you live in a Bushfire Prone Area with a Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO), the BMO will define the requirements of siting for access. For detailed information, visit Building in a BMO (State Government of Victoria).