The Myer FoundationThe Merri Creek Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) is a planning control which aims to control inappropriate development along Merri Creek. The text of the control varies a little from municipality to municipality, although the initial intention was for the text to be identical. The control, which was introduced into relevant planning schemes in the early 2000s, did not extend into the Shire of Mitchell.

It was initially intended that the ESO control cover public open space adjacent to the waterway, where that existed, and extend one property title back from that. However the implementation of the control differed between municipalities. In Hume and Whittlesea, the width of the ESO was based on a more or less fixed distance from the waterway, rather than on title boundaries.

To best way to see the mapped extent of the ESO along Merri Creek is use the VicPlan online mapping tool