Exempt tree works - Council's DCP

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There are a number of exemptions provided for in Central Coast Council's DCP Chapter 3.6 (Wyong DCP 2013) and Chapter 6.6 (Gosford DCP 2013) Tree and Vegetation Management for the removal and pruning of trees. Council and other authorities undertake a range of compliance actions each year in relation to reports of illegal tree and vegetation removal.

Council's DCP states that these exemptions as detailed further below do not apply when the tree or vegetation species is:

(i) a threatened species; or
(ii) a habitat tree for threatened fauna species; or
(iii) part of an endangered ecological community; or
(iv) the tree or vegetation to be removed or pruned is, or forms part of, a heritage item, an Aboriginal object, an Aboriginal place of heritage significance, or is within a heritage conservation area.

A Biodiversity Conservation Licence is required from NSW OEH for the items (i), (ii) and (iii) above.

Heritage approval (for minor maintenance works), or a development consent (significant works) is required from Council for trees or vegetation identified in item (iv) above.

For all other exemptions as detailed in the list of Exempt Tree Works below, Council has developed a range of templates that can assist in gathering the information that would be required in each circumstance. This is to assist residents in providing adequate information in demonstrating the exemption was valid should an investigation occur into claims of illegal removal or pruning. You are not required to send the information to Council rather you should keep the information for a minimum of 12 months.

The below information details the exemption and advises of requirements for each instance. It is recommended that the corresponding information be collected and retained in each circumstance to protect residents should Council investigate as part of a compliance matter. Where the requirements of an exemption cannot be met then a Private Tree Works Application will need to be submitted to Council. The letters in the first column of the table relate to the corresponding letter in clause 3.2 of Council's DCP.

Central Coast Council list of Exempt Tree Works

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a. The removal or pruning of trees or vegetation located within 3 metres of an existing approved structure, located on the subject or adjoining private land, with the written consent of the landowner(s)

  • Site map to be drawn and or attached from an aerial image source- the existing structures are to be also added to the map.
  • If the tree is a shared asset (boundary tree), all owners must provide consent and sign the form.
  • Indicate in the tick box at the top of the page which part of the exemption you wish to use.

NOTE: It is recommended that the pruning exemption DCP 3.2(f), which allows branches to be pruned greater than 50 mm in diameter over the roof line of an approved structure, have a Pruning Specification (see Tree Pruning Specification form in 'g' below).

Exempt Tree Works - Trees within 3m of Approved Structure

b. The removal of a tree or vegetation on land, which is an allotment less than 1,000m² in area and within a R1, R2 or R3 Residential Zone, that the Council is satisfied is dying or dead.

  • Photographic evidence along with written confirmation by a minimum (AQF3 Arborist). Resident to retain for minimum 12 months and to be provided upon Council request.
  • Written confirmation stating the tree(s) condition along with arborist details including arborists name, company name, qualifications and demonstrated removal rationale.
  • Photo evidence of tree(s) including clear photos of tree(s) condition to be retained with written confirmation.
  • Resident to retain for 12 months and to be provided upon Council request.

Exempt Dead or Dying Trees

c. The removal of vegetation comprising any of the tree species as detailed within Council’s Undesirable Species List

View Council's Undesirable Species List.

Photographic evidence including:

  • Photo of tree (whole tree)
  • Close up of bark, flowers, foliage, and fruit. (Fruit & flowers may not be present).
  • Resident to retain minimum 12 months

Exempt Works Evidence

d. The pruning or removal of non-native shrubs or fruit trees, understorey and groundcover vegetation for the maintenance of lawns and non-native gardens

Photo evidence - resident to retain for minimum of 12 months and to be provided upon Council request (before and after photo).

Exempt Works Evidence

e. The pruning or removal of individual native shrubs, understorey and groundcover vegetation for the maintenance of native gardens. Removal is limited to a maximum area of 50m² within any 12 month period, to be immediately replaced with effective groundcover plants or material to prevent soil erosion.

Photo evidence - resident to retain for minimum of 12 months and to be provided upon Council request (before and after photo).

Exempt Works Evidence

f. The pruning of a maximum of 10% of tree foliage area within any 12 month period, and the pruning of dead branches, in accordance with the Australian Standard for Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS4373-2007).

Applicable to branches no more than 50mm in diametre.

  • No requirement

g. Pruning branches within 3 metres of powerlines by an AUSGRID approved contractor, or within 1 metre of telecommunication wires, or where directly overhanging the roofline of an approved structure, in accordance with Australian Standard for Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS4373-2007).

Pruning branches within 3 metres of powerlines by an AUSGRID approved contractor, or within 1 metre of telecommunication wires.

  • No requirement

Where directly overhanging the roofline of an approved structure, in accordance with Australian Standard for Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS4373-2007).

  • Pruning specification written by a minimum AQF 3 Arborist. Resident retain for 12 months and to be provided upon Council request.

Tree Pruning Specifications

h. Removal or pruning of any weed species listed under Schedule 3 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, and/or those weeds listed on the Australian Government Department of Environment & Energy website “Weeds in Australia”.

Australian Government Department of Environment & Energy website “Weeds in Australia

Photographic evidence including:

  • Photo of tree (whole tree)
  • Close up of bark, flowers, foliage and fruit. (fruit & flowers may not be present)

Resident to retain for minimum of 12 months.

Exempt Works Evidence

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Last updated : Tue 10 Sep 2019