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Exempt Trees or Vegetation

There are 12 categories of trees or vegetation that are exempt from requiring development consent or this issue of a permit. These categories are:

1. Risk to human life or property*

The tree or other vegetation is a risk to human life or property. You will still need to obtain written confirmation from Council that the tree or vegetation is dangerous, however an on the spot approval may be given if the tree is an immediate safety hazard.

* Written justification is to be provided from an Arborist or suitably qualified person including photographs. Council is to confirm in writing that a development application or permit is not required prior to the removal of the tree or other vegetation.

2. Dead or dying*

The tree or other vegetation is dead or dying and is not required as the habitat of native fauna. You will need to obtain written confirmation from Council that the tree or other vegetation is dead or dying and is not required for habitat.

* Written justification is to be provided from an Arborist or suitably qualified person including photographs. Council is to confirm in writing that a development application or permit is not required prior to the removal of the tree or other vegetation.

3. Exempt species

The tree or vegetation is one of the exempt species listed in Hawkesbury Development Control Plan (provided the tree is not on land that forms part of a heritage item, Aboriginal object or is in a heritage conservation area or within an Aboriginal place of significance). The list of exempt species can be viewed here.

4. Priority Weeds

The tree or vegetation is one of the weed species identified within the Hawkesbury River County Council Priority Weeds Plan. The Priority Weeds Plan can be viewed here.

5. Parasitic mistletoe

Any species of parasitic mistletoe or parasitic plant as identified by a qualified arborist.

6. Fruit trees

Seasonal pruning of fruit trees to maintain fruit production.

7. Seed collection

Pruning for the purpose of seed collection where less than 10% of the available seed resource is removed.

8. Trees or vegetation in State forests

Trees or other vegetation within a State forest, or land reserved from sale as a timber or forest reserve.

9. Emergency Works or Bushfire Hazard Reduction

Trees or vegetation required to be removed for emergency access, emergency works, emergency fire fighting or bushfire hazard reduction work by Council, State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service or other public authority.

10. Electricity supply

Tree removal or pruning required to maintain minimum clearances from electricity supply cables, excluding trees that are situated on State Heritage listed properties.

11. Land survey

The removal or clearing of any vegetation, in accordance with the Surveying Act 2000 or any regulation made under that Act, between properties for the purpose of enabling a survey to be carried out along that boundary by a registered surveyor where no alternative survey method is feasible.

12. School sites

The removal or lopping of a tree under State Environmental Planning Policy Infrastructure 2007 because the tree poses a risk to human health or safety or, if the removal or lopping is in accordance with the State government publication School Facilities Standards—Landscape Standard.

What does not need Council approval?

You do not need Council’s approval for tree or vegetation removal in some circumstances. However:

  • you must have the owner’s approval
  • the land must not be a heritage item, an Aboriginal object, within a heritage conservation area or within an Aboriginal place of significance.

Page ID: 162562

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