Removal of a tree on private land generally requires our permission.
Before you apply for tree removal, you need to:
- confirm if your tree is exempt, or
- lodge with an arborist report including TRAQ, or
- lodge a permit for removal.
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.
Tree works conducted without a permit or outside of the exemptions, immediate risk or pruning specification process will be treated as tree vandalism.
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.
There are some exemptions under the DCP Chapter 39 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.
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.
Removal of up to three trees
Current fees July 2022 to June 2023:
Pensioner – $90.00
Non-Pensioner - $180.00
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.