Clearing of trees or vegetation

Cover of CLearing Trees or Vegetation fact sheet


Clearing of trees or vegetation on private land

The objectives of Kempsey Shire Councils policy on clearing of trees or vegetation is to preserve the amenity of the Shire including biodiversity values, through the preservation of trees and other vegetation. Clearing of trees or vegetation on private land may require approval from Council.

When do I need permission from Council to remove trees or vegetation?

Approval from Council may be required to remove trees or vegetation if the vegetation is positioned on land which is zoned any of the following:

  • Zone R1 - General Residential
  • Zone R3 - Medium Density Residential
  • Zone R5 - Large Lot Residential
  • Zone RU5 - Rural Village
  • Zone B1 - Neighbourhood Centre
  • Zone B2 - Local Centre
  • Zone B3 - Commercial Core
  • Zone B6 - Enterprise Corridor
  • Zone IN1- General Industrial
  • Zone IN2 - Light Industrial
  • Zone SP2 - Infrastructure
  • Zone E2 - Environmental Conservation
  • Zone E3 - Environmental Management
  • Zone E4 - Environmental Living

It is noted that tree removal or clearing of vegetation which is situated on land zoned other than any of the zonings above may require approval from the Catchment Management Authority under the Native Vegetation Act 2003, the Department of Environment and Heritage under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and/or the Department of Primary Industries under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

Clause 5.9 of Kempsey Local Environmental Plan 2013 (KLEP2013) requires development consent for:

  • Ring barking, cutting down, topping, pruning, removing, injuring or wilfully destroying any trees and other vegetation listed in Table B10.1 in Appendix A of Chapter B10 of Kempsey DCP 2013 (KDCP 2013).
  • Approval is not required in accordance with clause 5.9 of KLEP 2013 for the removal of trees or other vegetation referred to in Appendix B of Chapter B10 of KDCP 2013.

What are some of the triggers for tree removal or clearing in Appendix A of Chapter B10 of KDCP 2013?

Any tree or vegetation that is:

  • 3m or more in height and has a trunk diameter of 150mm, or greater, at 1.0m above ground level.
  • A threatened species, irrespective of size.
  • Providing habitat for any threatened species.
  • Any Preferred Koala Food Tree, as defined in KDCP2103, with a diameter at breast height over bark, greater than or equal to 250mm.

Refer to Appendix A of KDCP2013 for the full list of triggers for tree/vegetation removal and actions that require development consent.

Are there any exemptions?

There are exemptions from requiring Council approval which include the following:

  • Any tree within 10m of a habitable building, except for trees comprising a threatened species, population or ecological communities or their habitats.
  • Any tree harbouring Queensland fruit fly or grown for edible fruit.
  • Trees identified as noxious weeds under the Noxious weeds Act 1993, or listed environmental weeds by the North Coast Weeds Advisory Committee and/or the Department of Agriculture.
  • Trees for which an order or certificate has been granted under the Rural Fires Act 1997.
  • Trees required to be pruned, lopped or topped in accordance with the Electricity Supply Act 1995.
  • Trees within an approved plantation meeting the criteria of the Timber Plantations (Harvest Guarantee) Act 1995.
  • Plantations established on purchased lands or private lands under the joint venture or Farm Forestry Schemes.
  • Trees required to be removed by Council as part of the management and maintenance of any public reserve and/or road.
  • Any trees in which consent to remove has been granted in accordance with a valid development consent and/ or construction certificate.
  • The clearing of native vegetation that is authorised by a development consent or property vegetation plan under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 or that is a routine agricultural management activity within the meaning of that Act.

Refer to Chapter B10 KDCP2013 (Appendix B) for the full list of triggers for tree/vegetation removal and actions that do not require development consent.

How do I apply to Council to remove trees or vegetation?

A property owner or managing agent (with owners consent) can apply to Council to remove trees or vegetation in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 10 of KDCP2013.

Applications are to be made using Council’s Development Application Form for Trees and Vegetation. It is noted that the Tree Preservation Order application ceased to be used when KLEP2013 commenced.

Alternatively, an application to remove trees can be included as part of a development application for other development, however the trees proposed to be removed must be included on the approved DA plans.

If a property owner wishes to remove vegetation on Council managed land that adjoins private land, land owner’s consent is required from Council, as a minimum. Refer to Appendices A and B of Chapter B10 of KDCP2013 to determine if a development application will be required.

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