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Heritage and significant trees

All trees and vegetation on private and public land play an important role in the canopy cover and greening of the Central Coast Local Government Area. This provides a liveable experience for residents by reducing heat island effects, improved air quality and cleaner stormwater entering the catchment. This vegetation is also part of a dynamic ecosystem that provides and supports important biodiversity benefits for our varied avian, insect, reptile, aquatic and mammalian fauna across the Central Coast.

The trees and vegetation across the Central Coast are protected and managed under various legislation and planning instruments, including the:

  • State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021
  • Local Government Act 1993
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
  • Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016
  • Heritage Act 1997

Within the urban canopy of the Central Coast there is an abundance of spectacular and unique trees, some of which are listed as Heritage items, or form part of our natural bushland areas. Others within parks, local centres or private land contribute to the local area in a way that makes them stand out from the surrounding trees.

Central Coast Council has elected to provide the community with the opportunity to establish a list of Significant Trees.

These trees will continue to be bound by protections offered under various legislation, as will trees that are not included on the list.

Heritage Trees

The Significant Tree register may contain Heritage trees currently listed within the Central Coast Council Local Environment Plan (LEP).

Councils Development Control Plan Chapter (3.5) Tree and Vegetation Management does not apply to trees listed as, or part of, a Heritage item. Separate approval is required from Councils Heritage Officer for any works on Heritage listed items.

Check Schedule 5 of the Central Coast LEP, prior to undertaking any works on a tree listed on the Significant Tree register to ensure that the tree is not listed as, or part of a Heritage item.

The listings in Schedule 5 are based on Suburb then Address, however if you are unsure contact Council on 02 4306 7900 for assistance.

See Heritage advice for more information on how to make a heritage nomination.

Email with queries or for further information.

Significant Trees

The Significant Tree Register does not apply to trees that:

  • form part of a bushland parcel on Council owned land, or
  • to trees on public land where Council is not the land owner. Examples of this are Crown Land or National Parks, or
  • to trees listed as Heritage items in Schedule 5 of Councils LEP or Gosford SEPP.

As the completed nomination form will be registered against the property where the trees are located, Council will require separate forms to nominate potential significant trees where they are:

  • on different land parcels, or
  • for more than one tree that is not part of a same species avenue or same species grove on the same land parcel, or
  • to nominate trees on Council owned land at different locations, example trees in different streets and /or parks.

Private Trees

Property Owners can nominate any private land tree for inclusion on the significant tree register, provided they are the owner of both the tree and the land on which it is located.

A property owner may remove a tree that is located on their land from the significant tree register by submitting a written request to Council.

Note that Council cannot process applications that have not provided al the requested information.

Council Owned Trees

Trees located on Council owned land can be nominated by residents for inclusion on the Significant Tree Register. The nomination of a Council owned tree is no guarantee that the tree will be included on the register.

Contact Council on 02 4306 7900 to seek advice on Council land ownership. You will need the nearest property address to assist with correct identification. Council cannot list trees located on land managed by other agencies such as Crown Land.

Please note that Council cannot process applications that have not provided al the requested information.

Before any public tree can be included in the register it needs to meet our “tree focused” assessment and classification criteria.

The criteria are divided into five basic categories:

  1. Outstanding visual or aesthetic significance
  2. Botanic or scientific significance
  3. Significant ecological value
  4. Historical and commemorative significance
  5. Social significance

The Process

The process to nominate a tree for listing on Councils Significant Tree register is:

  1. Take clear photos of the whole tree and its setting
  2. Complete all sections of the Significant Tree Nomination Form and submit to Council together with the photos of the tree
  3. A Council Officer will review the Significant Tree application and list private land trees on the Significant Tree Register provided all application fields are completed and required information is provided, or
  4. If the tree is on Council owned land a Council arborist with minimum qualification AQF 5 will assess the application, the condition of the tree and its significance in the landscape
  5. Where Council owned trees may fit the heritage criteria, then the application will be referred to Councils Heritage Officer for comment
  6. If determined suitable for inclusion by the Council officer, the nominated Council owned tree will be added to the Significant Tree Register
  7. Residents will be advised in writing of the outcome of a Significant Tree Nomination
  8. The Significant Tree list will be updated, and the Significant Tree Register on Councils website will be updated at six-month intervals with revised listings
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