Vegetation/tree removal

This information only applies to tree removal or pruning that does NOT form part of a Development Application (DA). You will need to lodge a DA for the removal of heritage trees, trees in a heritage conservation area, trees with Aboriginal heritage value, and trees within coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018. If your tree removal requires a DA, you will need to refer to step 2 of the development process.

The new State Environment Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP) has recently been introduced to regulate the clearing of native vegetation in NSW. This policy works together with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Local Land Services Act 2016.

Outlined below are the steps you need to take in order to check whether an approval, permit or licence is needed to remove trees or vegetation from your property:

Step 1

Step 2

  • Check if the proposed clearing activates the Biodiversity Offset Scheme by accessing the Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold Tool (BMAT Tool). This tool produces a report stating whether the Biodiversity Offset Scheme threshold is triggered.
  • If thresholds are triggered, approval from the Native Vegetation Panel (NVP) is required. You can email the NVP on info@nvp.nsw.gov.au or phone Local Land Services on 1300 778 080. A biodiversity assessment report is required as part of the application. Contact an accredited assessor to prepare a report or call the Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) for more information on 1300 361 967.
  • If thresholds are not triggered, continue to step three.

Step 3

  • Check whether the Tree Preservation Code (PDF, 475.52 kb) applies to your land. Enter your property details in the ‘Property’ tab on the property enquirer tool and check whether the Tree Preservation Code appears under the ‘Zoning’ tab.
  • If the Tree Preservation Code applies to your land, apply to Council for a permit to remove the vegetation (refer to item 4 in the frequently asked questions and answers below for details of the application process).
  • If the Tree Preservation Code does not apply to land, or a permit is not required from Council for the type of clearing proposed, continue to step 4.

Step 4

In addition to the above steps, the NSW Government Office of Local Government has developed a biodiversity assessment and approvals navigator designed to help you identify which approvals apply to your vegetation clearing.

Below you will also find some frequently asked questions and answers relating to vegetation/tree removal and the processes involved:

I have a tree/vegetation I wish to remove. Do I need an approval, permit or licence?

Approval from Council or the Native Vegetation Panel may be required. The new State Environment Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP) has recently been introduced to regulate the clearing of native vegetation in NSW. This policy works together with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Local Land Services Act 2016.

The Vegetation SEPP only applies to non-rural land.

Approval pathways for vegetation clearing activities now depend upon the nature, location and extent of the vegetation clearing. You can use the tool below to figure out which approvals may apply to your clearing activity:

Is my property in an urban area?

The Vegetation SEPP only applies to non-rural land under the Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan 2012. This includes: RU5, R2, R3, R5, B1, B2, B4, B5, IN1, SP1, SP2, SP3, RE1, RE2, E2, or E4.

If your land is zoned RU1 or RU4, the Local Land Services Act 2016 applies – contact Local Land Services on 1300 778 080.

Check the zoning of your land

You can check the zoning of your land to see whether your property is located in an urban area:

Who do I apply to for removal of my tree/vegetation?

Clearing native vegetation above the clearing thresholds shown below requires approval by the Native Vegetation Panel (NVP). For more information, contact Local Land Services on 1300 778 080 or email info@nvp.nsw.gov.au.

Minimum lot size associated with the property Clearing threshold
Less than 1 hectare 0.25 hectares or more
1 hectare to less than 40 hectares 0.5 hectares or more
40 hectares to less than 1000 hectares 1 hectare or more
1000 hectares or more 2 hectares or more

Clearing native vegetation on land identified by the Office of Environment and Heritage on the Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold Tool (BMAT Tool) will need approval from the NVP. For more information, contact Local Land Services on 1300 778 080 or email info@nvp.nsw.gov.au.

The clearing and pruning of any trees below the clearing threshold in the table above, and not on the Biodiversity Values Map, may require a permit from Council (refer to next question).

I want to remove a tree/vegetation on my property which is below the clearing threshold and not on the biodiversity values map. How do I apply?

You should check Council’s Tree Preservation Code (PDF, 475.52 kb) to see if it applies to your proposed tree removal. If Council’s Code applies, you will need to complete an application form for a permit to remove or prune trees. A permit will only be granted if the criteria in the Tree Preservation Code are met.You can complete an Application to Remove or Prune Trees:

Please ensure that you complete all sections of the application and include a detailed plan showing the property and location of the tree(s), access road, north point, distance from boundaries and buildings and a description of the trees or vegetation proposed for removal.

You will need to pay the application fee when lodging your application with Council. Fees for a tree removal application for the 2017/2018 financial year are as follows:

  • removal or lopping of 1 – 3 trees: $101.00
  • removal or lopping of 4 – 6 trees: $109.00

You can lodge your application the following ways:

  • in person at the customer service centre, corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya between 8.30am and 4.30pm. Please note: ensure you arrive before 4pm so there is sufficient time to check and lodge your application. You will also need to pay your application fees at the time of lodgement.
  • or you can email it to: Development admin
  • or mail it to: Development admin, Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 MORUYA NSW 2537.

Upon receipt of your application and the applicable fee, your application will be assessed by Council’s independent Tree Assessor and a determination will be made whether approval is granted for the removal of the vegetation/tree(s).

What if I don’t need a permit from Council?

Vegetation clearing or pruning that does not require a permit from Council or approval from the Native Vegetation Panel, may still need a licence from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage if the tree is a threatened species, habitat for threatened species (eg, hollows in trees), or forms part of an endangered ecological community.Possible Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) are shown on Council’s online mapping system.

Who do I contact if I have an enquiry about the removal of a tree on public land?

Council is responsible to take reasonable measures, within budget limitations, to manage the risks arising from trees on all land under Council’s control.Any requests to remove or prune trees on public land are managed in line with our Tree Risk Management on Council Controlled Land Policy (PDF, 154.75 kb) and Code of Practice (PDF, 675.69 kb). The Code of Practice informs how we deal with your request.

If you have any concerns about a particular tree, please write to us at:

  • Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 MORUYA NSW 2537
  • or email us at: Council.

Where can I find out more?

We can help you

If you need more information about removing trees or vegetation, please phone our Development Helpdesk:

  • T: 4474 1231
  • E: Council’s Development Helpdesk
  • visit our customer service centre at the corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.