Removal of a tree on private land generally requires our permission.
Before you apply to us for approval to remove a tree, check the tree permit application form - PDF - 250 KB and confirm you need our approval.
Exemptions where you don’t need approval:
- Some tree species are exempt - PDF - 13026 KB under our Development Control Plan Clause 4.3 (Species Exempt from this Order) and Clause 4.4 (Other Trees and Tree Work Exempt from this section)
- Other exemptions exist under the Rural Fire Service (RFS) 10/50 Code, or where a Hazard Reduction Certificate issued by the RFS approves the removal of specific trees.
All other works require a tree removal application - PDF - 250 KB.
Instead of applying, alternatively you can engage an arborist to prepare a report that includes a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) assessment.
Tree works conducted without a permit or outside of the exemptions will be treated as tree vandalism.
Trees that pose an 'Immediate (imminent) risk to life or property’ may be removed without a permit in certain circumstances.
Pruning can be completed if exempt, or where a Pruning Specification has been prepared as per the tab below.
Private trees are protected under our Development Control Plan (DCP) Chapter 39 ‘Natural Resource Management’ (section 4). This was developed under the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021.
A permit to remove a tree on private land is not required if we are satisfied there is a risk to life or property. This is determined in accordance with the State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021 and the options outlined in Council’s DCP (Chapter 39 clause 4.4, 1c.)
You can engage a consulting arborist to prepare a report. However, as time can be critical in these circumstances, the following is recommended:
- Contact a qualified (minimum Australian Quality Framework AQF level 3) and appropriately insured arborist.
- Confirm their qualifications and insurance cover, and record their business details.
- The arborist must inspect the tree and take clear photographs, both in context and close-ups of the issue that is the cause of the urgent action.
- If the tree is confirmed as an imminent risk, you may complete the works.
- You and the arborist must complete the SEPP Exempt Imminent Risk Form, detailing the date of removal, the reason for the removal and why there were no remedial options.
- The owner and arborist must retain a copy of all photos, videos and completed SEPP Exempt Imminent Risk Form for a minimum of two years. We may request this information in the event of a complaint.
Where we are not satisfied, or the above information is not available, the removal will be treated as tree vandalism.
- Inspections are conducted by Council's arborists
- Applications are normally determined within 28 days
- Permits are valid for two years
- If an inspection reveals the tree poses a risk to people or property, we will issue a permit for removal
- If an inspection reveals an imminent risk, we will advise you at the time of inspection and the permit will provide a time frame to complete the work.
We will not remove or prune a tree as part of a Complying Development. Tree permit applications will be assessed in accordance with our normal criteria.
If an application does not meet the criteria, it will be refused and the applicant advised to follow a Development Application process.
Instead of applying for a tree permit, residents can engage an arborist to prepare a report that includes a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) assessment.
- The arborist must be an independent consultant with no affiliation with a tree contracting company.
- The arborist must be TRAQ-licensed and have a minimum Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF ) level 5 (diploma) qualification
- When removal is recommended, we will accept the TRAQ assessment and issue a permit. Permit fees are outlined in Council's Fees and Charges.
There are three options:
- Engage an AQF 5-qualified consulting arborist to complete a report including a TRAQ assessment
- Apply to the Land and Environment Court of NSW using provisions under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021
- Apply to us for an independent panel review. The review process is only for tree removal within six months of refusal.
- Write to us and request a review.
- We will undertake an initial review and provide a Panel Review Application Form.
- Submit the completed application, along with any supporting information.
- Our panel will review the information and make a decision.
- We will advise you of the decision in writing.
- Pensioner – $90.00
- Non-Pensioner - $189.00
- In person applications - You can pay the fee when lodging in person at the Council Building Eton Street, or for
- On line applications - We will email you an invoice for all online tree permit applications. This will include your payment options.
You need to pay a non-refundable application fee each time you submit a request to remove a tree/s.
Current application fees July 2023 to June 2024:
Fees are in accordance with Environmental Health and Building Fees and Charges 2023-24
Once your payment is received, we will schedule an assessment and provide you a written determination.
Apply for a permit for the removal of up to three trees
Online applications require full payment at the time of lodgement.
Hard copy applications are required where no fee is payable e.g., Pensioners.