Why have off site tree replacement in Sutherland Shire?
Sutherland Shire is characterised by natural features which includes an established tree canopy. This living asset is highly valued by the community, however changing lifestyles means that some residents find they no longer have space or the desire for big trees on their residential property. As a consequence the urban tree canopy is being reduced at an alarming rate.
Every year residents seek approval to remove around 3,000 trees from private property and around 2,500 trees are removed from public places. If this trend continues an estimated 165 ha of canopy will be lost over the next decade.
Through the Urban Tree and Bushland Policy, Council has made a commitment to the community to
- plant street trees to ensure there is no net loss of tree canopy on public land, and minimise the impact of the built environment
- prioritise street tree planting in areas of greatest ecological benefit or visual amenity,
- plant indigenous trees appropriate to the local environmental context, and
- link identified Greenweb areas.
But this is not enough to address the rate of removal on private property.
Apply for off site tree replacement deed of agreement
How does off site replacement work?
Until recently, when Council has permitted the removal of a tree, residents have been required to replace the tree. However a one for one ratio replacement ratio has proven insufficient to ensure the tree canopy is maintained. Residents do not always want to replant with the larger tree species required to maintain the canopy. Due to small lot size or lack of space sometimes it is not possible to even accommodate a smaller tree, and not all trees survive to maturity.
On 22 October 2012 Council resolved that the replanting ratio would be 4:1 for single dwellings, 8:1 for dual occupancies, medium and high density development and commercial development, and to accept offset replanting on public land through a Deed of Agreement. A resident may elect to either comply with the replanting requirement on their site, or choose to engage Council to replant on public land by entering into a Deed of Agreement and paying for the replanting of the replacement trees.
Deed of Agreement for off site tree replacement
The Deed of Agreement is activated when both you and Council have signed the document and you have paid the replanting fee.
Council deems the entering into the Deed of Agreement as satisfying the replanting requirement on your Consent, provided that all trees that are subject to a replanting requirement have been accounted for either through the Deed of Agreement or replaced on your property at the appropriate ratio, or a combination of both.