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Posted 19 August 2014
Tree preservation orders are in practice made by local councils as orders pursuant to powers under the Local Government Act 1993. There can be significant differences between tree preservation orders for specific councils and any proposal to remove or prune a tree should be considered in light of the requirements of the tree preservation order applicable to the relevant local government area.
This is despite the New South Wales government having issued a standard template (clause 5.9 of the NSW Government’s Standard Instrument LEP template), with the objective of promoting consistency.
A tree preservation order for a particular local government area will typically have the following scope:
An application for council approval is not expensive, but will not necessarily be approved, so intending applicants should contact the relevant Council to ascertain the required form and fee, the supporting evidence required (e.g. an arborist’s report) and the criteria against which the application will be considered.
These requirements should be taken seriously. Councils take them seriously and potential penalties are substantial, being up to $110,000 if prosecuted in the Local Court and up to $1.1 million if prosecuted in the Land and Environment Court.
This article considers council tree preservation orders. They are not the only regulation of trees and further information about some other controls can be found in the below article.
Further, owners of some properties in bush fire prone areas will be able to remove trees under the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice for New South Wales which broadly permits removal of trees without approval within 10m of a home and other vegetation within 50m. Further information can be obtained below.
***The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.