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Vegetation and tree removal

If your tree removal requires a Development Application (DA), please refer to the development process.

The State Environment Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP) regulates clearing of native vegetation in non-rural areas of NSW where it is not associated with a DA. This policy works together with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Local Land Services Act 2016.

Find out if you need a permit, licence or approval

Use our vegetation/tree removal decision tool to check if you need an approval, permit or licence to remove trees or vegetation from your property:

Frequently asked questions relating to tree removal

As well as the information on this page, you can use the NSW Office of Local Government's biodiversity assessment and approvals navigator to help identify if/which approvals are relevant to your vegetation clearing.

The Vegetation SEPP only applies to non-rural land under the Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan 2012. This includes land zoned: 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 the South East Local Land Services Office for more information.

How to check the zoning of your land

If vegetation removal is below the minimum lot size clearing threshold and not on the Biodiversity Values Map you may require a permit from Council (refer to the next section on this page, 'How do I apply to Council for a permit to remove vegetation'). Please contact the Development Help Desk for advice:

If the vegetation is mapped on the biodiversity values map, or the area of clearing exceeds the thresholds, you may require approval from the Native Vegetation Panel (NVP).

Minimum lot sizes and clearing thresholds

If the minimum lot size associated with the property is:

  • less than 1 hectare, then the clearing threshold is 0.25 hectares or more
  • 1 hectare up to 40 hectares, then the clearing threshold is 0.5 hectares or more
  • 40 hectares up to 1000 hectares, then the clearing threshold is 1 hectare or more
  • 1000 hectares or more, then the clearing threshold is 2 hectares or more.

First you should check Council's Tree Preservation Code to see if it applies to your proposed vegetation removal.

If the 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.

To apply to Council for a permit to remove vegetation:

  1. Complete a tree removal application form. This must be signed by the land owner.
  2. Mark all vegetation proposed to be removed on site.
  3. Prepare a tree plan showing all trees and native vegetation on the site and what is proposed for removal.
  4. Obtain required evidence eg, an arborist report and/or an assessment of the significance of the impacts to threatened species or ecological communities.
  5. Submit the form, tree plan, supporting evidence and the processing fee to Council.
  6. A Council representative will inspect the site and the vegetation proposed to be removed.
  7. Council will assess the application and advise you of the outcome within 28 days.

Fees and lodgement

Fees for a tree removal application are detailed in Council's fees and charges:

You will need to pay the application fee when lodging your application with Council:

  • in person: at Council's customer service centre, corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya between 8.30am and 4.30pm. Please 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.
  • by email: council@esc.nsw.gov.au
  • by post: Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 Moruya NSW 2537.

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 Department of Planning, Industry and Environment 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.

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 and Code of Practice. The Code of Practice informs how we deal with your request.

If you have any concerns about a particular tree please contact us:

  • by post: Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 Moruya NSW 2537
  • by email: Council

For more information, contact our Development Help Desk: