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Trees and vegetation on private land

Find information on tree and vegetation protection, management and clearing.

Part 5 of the Albury Development Control Plan 2010 (Albury DCP 2010) guides the preservation and management of trees and vegetation in the Albury LGA, including on private land.

When do I need a Development Application to clear vegetation in the Albury LGA?

Clearing of vegetation that is associated with a proposed land use, building works (e.g. new dwelling or addition) or relating to a heritage item or Heritage Conservation Area requires a Development Application (DA). Minor heritage works, may meet the heritage criteria for a written exemption.

To gain an exemption from a development consent for minor heritage works (including tree removal) to a heritage item or in a heritage conservation area provide property address, reasons for clearing of vegetation, photos and email

When do I need a permit to clear vegetation in the Albury LGA?

A permit is required to clear vegetation that is

  • a tree 3 metres or more in height and with a trunk circumference of 300mm or more at 1.3 metres above ground level;
  • native vegetation in specified areas* or identified on the Extant Vegetation DCP Map;
  • located within 100 metres of the Murray River or within 40 metres of the Murray River on R5 zoned land or in urban release areas;
  • listed on the Significant Tree Register.

*specified areas is land identified in the following zones C2, C3, C4, SP1, SP2, RE1, RE2, R5, RU5, W2

Check your land zoning or whether your property is heritage listed or in a conservation area on the NSW Planning Portal spatial viewer.
If you are unsure of the tree species, land zoning or whether your property is heritage listed or in a heritage conservation area contact AlburyCity on 02 6023 8111.

Are there any exemptions?

A permit is not required for the following exemptions:

  • clearing vegetation, where Council is satisfied that it is, an imminent risk to human life or property; or dead or dying tree and is not required as the habitat of native animals; for traditional Aboriginal cultural activity, other than a commercial activity;
  • a tree less than 3 metres in height and with a trunk circumference of less than 300mm or more at 1.3 metres above ground level;
  • tree pruning that does not exceed 10% of the canopy every three years and in accordance with the Australian Standard – Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS-4373- 2007);
  • clearing of environmental weeds on the Exempt Tree Species List; or clearing of a non-native fruit or nut producing tree;
  • mowing or slashing native grass in a landscaped area associated with a dwelling and maintained at a height of 10cm above ground level;
  • clearing of vegetation authorised under other legislation for example:
    • allowable activities for agricultural uses permitted with consent on land in zoned R5, C2, C3, and C4 under Schedule 5A or in rural areas (RU1, RU2 or RU4 zones*) Part 5A of the Local Land Services Act 2013,
    • Land Management Native Vegetation Code 2018;
    • 10/50 Legislation or 10/50 entitlement area in the NSW Rural Fires Act 1997,
    • the Electricity Supply Act 1995;
    • Exempt and Complying Development Code 2008).

Clearing of vegetation on land located RU1, RU2, or RU4 land zoning is regulated by the Local Land Services, contact 1300 795 299.

How do I measure a tree?

Tree Size Diagram

How do I apply for a permit to clear vegetation in the Albury LGA?

  • Step 1

    Prepare a site plan showing all vegetation (including trees). Mark the vegetation proposed for clearing on site.

  • Step 2

    Fill out the Vegetation Removal Permit (VRP) application form and attach any supporting documents, photographs, distance from dwelling (arborist report, structural engineers report, if required).

What happens next?

Upon receipt of the application, our Arborist will inspect the site and the vegetation proposed to be cleared. An assessment will be undertaken, and a decision completed within 28 days of lodgement.

Our decision guidelines

The following information assists in our assessment of a Vegetation Removal Permit application:

  • The health and condition of the tree, whether the tree is dead, dying, diseased or structurally unsound;
  • The suitability of the tree to its growing space and conditions;
  • The contribution (including aesthetic value) of the tree in the landscape;
  • The cumulative impact of previous clearing of vegetation on the site;
  • Whether the tree is causing structural damage to utilities and assets;
  • Whether the tree is native and part of the local endangered ecological community;
  • The habitat value of the tree;
  • The historical and cultural significance;
  • The role of the vegetation in minimising soil erosion and sediment into waterways;
  • Whether there is an appropriate alternative solution, such as pruning branches, root pruning or installation of root guards;
  • If there is any compensatory planting proposed to replace lost vegetation or vegetation will be retained on balance;
  • Whether established trees have been planted to succession plan for the loss of tree canopy.

Trees on neighbouring properties

Owner's consent or an order under the Trees (Disputes between Neighbours Act 2006) must be obtained to clear vegetation on an adjoining property.
If possible, it is best to talk to your neighbours and ask for their consent. Disputes between neighbours are a civil matter. The Community Justice Centre may be able to provide mediation assistance.

Tips for engaging the right arborist

  • Seek a few quotes or ask for recommendations from people you know or their previous clients.
  • Sight the contractor's public liability and worker's compensation certificates (public liability insurance should be for a minimum of $20 million).
  • Check the contractor's qualifications and/or industry associations. A contractor should have a formal qualification from a recognised institution.
  • Agree on the extent of the work to be undertaken and include the cost of the removal of the stump in the quote. By removing the stump, you reduce the possibility of termite activity.

Offences and penalties

Council has a range of powers to enforce compliance with the vegetation protection controls (under Section 9.58 and Schedule 5 of the EP&A Act 1979). Penalties for the unauthorised clearing of vegetation are issued by Council via a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN), an Order or both to resolve the matter. Penalties are issued in accordance with the NSW Revenue, Local Government, Fixed Penalty Handbook.

If you suspect unauthorised clearing of vegetation in non-rural areas contact the Environment Team on 02 6023 8111. To report a disturbance caused to wildlife or bushland, contact the NSW Environment Line on 131 555.