Home » Regulations & environment » Environment » Tree management » Trees on private land
Council has native tree controls covering all land zoned Residential and Large Lot Residential (Rural Residential). Therefore, where you wish to lop or remove native vegetation you will need to consider if approval is required before you undertake any work, please contact Customer Services, Phone 6643 0200.
Generally no approval is required for removal of non native or exotic trees on private land unless they are associated with a heritage order.
The Native Vegetation Act 1993 covers land zoned “rural” and the NSW Local Land Service (LLS) may need to be notified for proposed tree clearing (LLS Ph.1300795299). For information on illegal land clearing contact the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and lodge details (Ph. 131555).
There are some minor variations in different parts of the Clarence Valley to take into account the value of vegetation to local communities. A fact sheet has been prepared to explain what clearing requires approval and the type of approval required. Click on the link below to download the fact sheet:
Council will only approve work to trees after an appropriate assessment. This will be followed by an assessment letter determined in accordance with Australian Standards 4373.
Where you wish to remove native trees associated with an existing development including a dwelling you will need to submit a tree permit application.
Where you wish to remove native trees and there is no existing development or the land is vacant, a development application is required for the proposed clearing. The information required for this form of clearing is more comprehensive and involves the preparation of a flora and fauna report. Council encourages the retention of native vegetation until development of the property is planned so the extent of vegetation removal can be considered as part of the overall development proposal. Not withstanding this, where there is a compelling reason for removal of native vegetation on vacant land, a stand alone Development Application will be considered by Council.
For either the permit or development application for tree works, the forms must be signed by the owner/s of the tree. The application forms can be obtained from Council's Customer Service centre or downloaded. If an individual wishes to remove or prune a tree that requires an application and the tree is located on a neighbouring property, an application should be lodged on the individual’s behalf by the owner. In the case of unit blocks, body corporate endorsement must be obtained before lodging an application for tree works. In the case of joint ownership (trees growing on a shared boundary) all owners must sign the application.
A non-refundable application fee must be submitted with the application form before the application is processed.
Once an application is completed and the appropriate fee paid, an officer will visit the site and assess the tree/s, then follow-up with a letter regarding Council’s decision in regards the application.
If consent is given to the removal of trees, Council may require replacement planting and where this is required it will be conditioned on the approval.
Where an applicant is dissatisfied with a determination, a request for a review of the initial decision can be initiated (the request must be lodged within 12 months of the notification of the determination).
An officer unrelated to the initial determination will undertake the review. Council will advise the outcome of the review. Where the determination involves a refusal of an application the applicant may appeal the decision to the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Most tree problems that Council is called on to investigate or assess are as a result of incorrect species selection and poor planting location. These problems could be avoided by carefully considering the following: