Shoalhaven City Council values the contribution trees make to the natural and built environment of our City. Trees in our urban areas contribute to the look and feel of our city and provide a link between our built environment and our National Parks and Nature Reserves. This link benefits our community and the native wildlife that utilise our urban environment.
Vegetation removal on Urban Land
If you want to clear vegetation including trees on your land and it is not associated with a development application, then you may need to apply for a permit from Council.
The NSW Vegetation SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy) requires land owners to obtain a permit before removing vegetation on their land. To make it easier for land owners to manage risks on their land some trees are exempt and can be removed without consent. To check what exemptions may apply you should check Council's DCP Chapter G4 and trees on my land or contact Environmental Services on 4429 3431.
If you are clearing vegetation over a certain threshold that triggers the NSW Biodiversity Offset Scheme, Council cannot approve your application, and you will need to apply for a permit through the NSW Native Vegetation Panel.
To check whether your clearing will trigger this requirement you should check the NSW Government online mapping tool and seek advice of an assessor accredited under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act.
A list of accredited persons and further information about Biodiversity Offsetting is available on the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website
Trees and Neighbours
Trees can unfortunately cause dispute between neighbours for a variety of reasons. Residents often contact Council to express their concerns about a neighbour’s tree in the hope that Council will mediate or resolve the matter by requiring their neighbour to carry out work.
Shoalhaven City Council’s Tree Management Policy does not give Council the authority to direct any resident to remove or prune a tree. Council is also unable to mediate between neighbours as it is a civil matter that should be resolved between neighbours or through the Land and Environment Court.
Vegetation removal on Rural Land
If you are seeking to clear vegetation not associated with a development application on rural land you do not need to apply to Council for a permit. You must seek advice from NSW Local Land Services on 1300 778 080