New Tree Protection Process

In 2018 Council adopted a series of new operational protocols and methods to be used in the issuing and management of Planning Permits as they relate to tree retention and landscape implementation.

Work underpinning these new protocols and methods has generally taken place in two parts:

  • Investigation of new permit conditions in an endeavour to achieve greater pre-emptive protection of vegetation in the future; and
  • A review of planning compliance procedures relating to the failure to comply with permit conditions regarding vegetation management.

The Council agenda and minutes are available at the following link:

The purpose of these changes is to provide greater protection for existing vegetation and to ensure that the obligations set down in Planning Permits relating to existing and proposed vegetation are carefully followed.  These new controls follow, and seek to implement, the outcomes sought by Council's Urban Forest Strategy (which was adopted in June 2017).

One of the adopted changes is to require as a condition upon Planning Permits, a requirement to enter into a Deed with Council and provide a Bank Guarantee securing the protection of vegetation to be retained on or adjoining a development site.  A Deed is a legal agreement between the Responsible Authority and the owner / developer, which outlines the agreed requirements for holding, forfeiting and releasing the Bank Guarantee.  The value of the Bank Guarantee will be calculated by applying an arboricultural formula, which considers factors such as the size, health and structure of a particular tree.  The adopted conditions require that the Deed is executed and the Guarantee provided to Council prior to (or concurrent with) the endorsement of plans under the Permit.

As part of this project Council has also adopted a more rigorous approach to the enforcement of tree protection measures, set down in all existing Planning Permits (and associated endorsed plans, including Tree Management Plans).  One of the main changes is to remove the current practice of issuing warnings to permit holders who fail to comply with their vegetation related obligations.  You are encouraged to review the details of these changes within the Report available at the link provided above.

If you have any questions regarding the new process, please contact the Statutory Planning Department on 8290 3329.

Please refer to the attached documents for more detailed information.