Tree DCP Amendment


Beautiful Jacaranda tree in backyardWe’ve developed a new plan that guides how trees are managed on private land. If adopted by the elected Council, we’ll amend our current Development Control Plans (DCPs) relating to tree management.


Background

Inner West Council was formed in 2016 from the amalgamation of three former councils. Plans that guide tree management from the former councils still apply.

These proposed changes to the current DCPs will make the management of trees on private land across the Inner West consistent including controls for tree pruning and removals.

If adopted, the following current DCPs will be amended (links open in external website):

Beautiful Jacaranda tree in backyardWe’ve developed a new plan that guides how trees are managed on private land. If adopted by the elected Council, we’ll amend our current Development Control Plans (DCPs) relating to tree management.


Background

Inner West Council was formed in 2016 from the amalgamation of three former councils. Plans that guide tree management from the former councils still apply.

These proposed changes to the current DCPs will make the management of trees on private land across the Inner West consistent including controls for tree pruning and removals.

If adopted, the following current DCPs will be amended (links open in external website):


How was the draft Tree Management DCP developed?

A discussion paper including principles and options to guide the development of the new plan was distributed for community feedback in August/September 2018. Feedback was used to create the plan which the elected Council endorsed for public exhibition at their meeting in November 2018.


Principles that guide the draft Tree Management DCP

  • Public safety – Trees on private land are managed to ensure public safety and risk is managed appropriately.
  • Protection of property – Trees on private land are managed to ensure protection of property.
  • Equity/ financial cost - Trees are there for the benefit of the community and the costs incurred by residents to maintain trees should be reduced.
  • Increased urban canopy – Trees are essential for creating liveable cities and urban canopy needs to be increased.


Key features of the draft Tree Management DCP

  • Easier process to remove dead or dangerous trees - There is no fee and no formal application, just a request to Council with accompanying photos to demonstrate the tree’s condition.
  • Easier process if you live in a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) - Works on trees located in HCAs will be allowed by a permit instead of a development application (unless your tree is on the Inner West Heritage Trees list). Permits are a faster and simpler process without mandatory arborist reports.
  • Trees located close to properties - Trees roots can damage property. Trees located within 500mm of a primary (main dwelling) structure may be removed without application to Council. In cases where property owners want to remove trees growing further away from the primary dwelling, an evidence-based assessment approach and assessment criteria for future structural damage are outlined.
  • Reduced costs - Council will establish grants to assist eligible residents who have valuable canopy trees on their property to maintain the trees. Pension card holders will not pay notification fees and will be eligible for a 50% discount on tree assessment applications.


View the key documents

Hard copies available at:

  • Council's Service Centres
  • Balmain, Haberfield and Marrickville libraries


Make a submission

Council invites your feedback on the proposed draft Tree Management DCP

  • Online submission
  • Mail: Inner West Council, PO Box 14, Petersham, NSW 2049 Reference: 18/6398

Submissions close on Tuesday, 21 May 2019.


What happens next

Everyone who makes a submission will be emailed with the date at which the elected Council will decide whether to adopt the amendments.


Keep informed

Register at Your Say Inner West to receive a monthly e-news on all projects open for community input and project updates.



  • Tree DCP update

    about 2 months ago

    At the 8 October 2019 Council Meeting it was resolved that:

    1. Council undertake a letterbox drop to the residents of the Inner West notifying them of the amended Tree DCP;

    2. The notification is to be is to be in 5 different languages including English.
    They are; Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Greek and Vietnamese. In acknowledgement of our truly multicultural inclusive policies in the Community Strategic Plan;

    3. The draft notification be distributed to Councillors for comment;

    4. All submissions in their entirety are to made available to all Councillors two (2) weeks prior at the latest before the meeting...

    At the 8 October 2019 Council Meeting it was resolved that:

    1. Council undertake a letterbox drop to the residents of the Inner West notifying them of the amended Tree DCP;

    2. The notification is to be is to be in 5 different languages including English.
    They are; Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Greek and Vietnamese. In acknowledgement of our truly multicultural inclusive policies in the Community Strategic Plan;

    3. The draft notification be distributed to Councillors for comment;

    4. All submissions in their entirety are to made available to all Councillors two (2) weeks prior at the latest before the meeting for the adoption of the policy;

    5. Council is not to advertise the Tree DCP until the conclusion of the School holidays which are concluding on the 14th of October. The advertising period is 4 weeks;

    6. The report is to come back to the first Ordinary Council meeting in February 2020;

    7. Council puts all necessary resources to achieve this timeline; and

    8. The report is to be item 1 on the Business Paper on the first Ordinary Council meeting February 2020.

  • Tree DCP update

    about 2 months ago

    At its meeting, on 24 Sep 2019 Council resolved:

    1. The following changes be made to the Trees DCP:

    a. The permit application assessment criteria include that a tree growing within two (2) metres of a dwelling house or garage measured horizontally from the closest point of the trunk at one (1) metre from ground level to the closest point of the vertical alignment of the building structure’s wall. The issued permit will identify the type of any replacement tree required with a preference for advanced species. As a condition of the permit, verification of the planting of any replacement...

    At its meeting, on 24 Sep 2019 Council resolved:

    1. The following changes be made to the Trees DCP:

    a. The permit application assessment criteria include that a tree growing within two (2) metres of a dwelling house or garage measured horizontally from the closest point of the trunk at one (1) metre from ground level to the closest point of the vertical alignment of the building structure’s wall. The issued permit will identify the type of any replacement tree required with a preference for advanced species. As a condition of the permit, verification of the planting of any replacement tree is also required;

    b. Remove Kaffir Plum, Bunya Bunya Pine, Norfolk Island Pine and Hoop Pine from the Weeds List;

    c. Ensure that the list of ‘Exempt Weeds’ require the approval by Council by a ‘Minor Works Request’ prior to removal (to facilitate the replacement of the canopy by requiring a replacement tree be planted);

    d. Include Clause 2.20.6.3 “Criteria not considered” from the original exhibited Tree DCP;

    e. The issued tree permit will require the replacement tree where possible with a preference for advanced species; and

    f. That “Weeds Species” where they exceed a height of 10 metres require a permit for removal.

    2. The Tree DCP Amendment be placed on public exhibition; and

    3. Council’s directive that two trees be replaced or a fee paid when one is removed from a property is onerous and legal advice sought.


  • Council adopts Tree Management DCP with changes

    3 months ago

    At its meeting, on August 27 2019 Council considered a report and adopted the Tree Management DCP with the following changes:

    1. New objectives of the Tree DCP which are:

    • To maintain and enhance the amenity of the Inner West Local Government Area through the preservation of appropriate trees and vegetation
    • To ensure the cost burden of meeting tree canopy targets does not fall unreasonably on property owners and lower income residents in particular
    • Encourage private property owners to plant new trees and replace inappropriate trees in order to meet Council’s tree canopy targets.
    2. Amend objective 3 to read...

    At its meeting, on August 27 2019 Council considered a report and adopted the Tree Management DCP with the following changes:

    1. New objectives of the Tree DCP which are:

    • To maintain and enhance the amenity of the Inner West Local Government Area through the preservation of appropriate trees and vegetation
    • To ensure the cost burden of meeting tree canopy targets does not fall unreasonably on property owners and lower income residents in particular
    • Encourage private property owners to plant new trees and replace inappropriate trees in order to meet Council’s tree canopy targets.
    2. Amend objective 3 to read “to ensure the safety of the community, private property and public infrastructure assets.”

    3. Amend prescribed trees (2.20.3) to be 6 meters rather than 5 meters in height

    4. A schedule of tree species which are exemptions for the need of a tree permit as detailed in the tabled document

    5. Exempt work definition to be amended to:

    a.Allow for canopy lifting to 2.5 meters above ground without limitation on branch diameter; and

    b.Selective pruning to a 3 meter clearance above the roof or from the face of all structures that are being impacted.

    6. Where replacement of trees is approved, Council prefers that trees that are removed are replaced on the site with a suitable replacement canopy tree and in a suitable location onsite. However, there may be circumstances when there is no suitable location on site (for example, in the case of small backyards); a financial contribution will be required to be paid to support public tree planting. Offset fees are to established within Council’s fees and charges schedule;

    7. Council approval is not required to prune or remove trees within 3m of an existing dwelling or ancillary structure, which has been approved through a Development Application or Complying Development Certificate, within the same lot as the tree. The distance is to be measured from the face of the tree trunk closest to the dwelling or structure to the external wall or roof line of the dwelling or structure, the definition of which may include a garage, carport, studio, shed, workshop, swimming pool, spa or retaining walls with a height greater than 600mm;

    8. Development consent is to be required for works or removal of trees only in the following circumstances (all other applications will be categorised as tree works permit applications or minor works requests):

    a. Removal of trees identified on the Inner West Council heritage trees list;

    b. The tree forms part of an Aboriginal object or that is located within an Aboriginal place of heritage

    9. The following criteria for the assessment of applications will form the guidelines for tree applications with the assessment criteria in the DCP to be amended to match these:

    Danger

    Danger is assessed based on a number of factors including;

    • The potential/likelihood of a tree or tree part to fail;
    • A history of previous branch failure;
    • The size of the defective part of the tree;
    • The use and occupancy of the area that may be struck by a defective part; and
    • The tree exceeds 15m in height and is within the strike zone of a habitable dwelling.

    Meeting the danger criteria gives significant determinative weight to the application to approve the removal and/or pruning of a tree.

    Property Damage

    • The likelihood of the tree having an adverse effect on property including trees renowned for having extensive root systems, which cause damage to footings of houses or, trees that cause blockages to domestic sewer and drainage lines.

    Condition of the tree

    • The structural integrity of the tree is assessed for any visible signs of decay or deterioration, this is usually indicated by a lack of foliage, dead branches evident in the canopy, presence of fungal fruiting bodies, excessive sap being exuded from the trunk and/or evidence of insect attack, particularly borer damage. Further, the likelihood the species displays toward branch failure and subsequent limb fall

    Health of the tree

    • The species susceptibility to environmental changes, which may affect the longevity of the species survival in its current location. This would include, changes in soil level, excessive root damage caused during construction works, changes in water availability, competition for other vegetation (particularly climbing vines), and compaction of soil (particularly in high usage areas such as car parking areas).

    Complying Development

    • The need for tree removal in order to allow for development that could otherwise be carried out under a Complying Development Certificate. A statement from the certifier confirming that tree removal is the only impediment to the issuance of a CDC must be submitted to support the application. These applications will be assessed based on the same criteria as a Development Application.

    Significance to Streetscape

    • An assessment of the visual environment and the significance the specimen plays within the streetscape. Other criteria would include if the tree is an endangered or rare species, is of historical significance or, the link the tree provides between bushland and reserves (the connectivity of habitat).

    Termites

    • Each case of termite infestation will be investigated on its merit. Potential Future Damage The potential for the tree to cause damage in the future is also considered in an assessment for removal. Extenuating

    Circumstances

    • Circumstances, such as the owner’s capacity to undertake required maintenance of a tree and surrounds, whether the land owner planted the tree, or solar access for renewable energy systems and other like considerations.

    10. The “criteria not considered” provisions are to be deleted;

    11. Dangerous tree assessments are to be based on the safety risk in all weather conditions, not “normal” conditions;

    12. A plain English Language explanation of tree pruning provisions is to be made
    available on Council’s website;

    13. Council is to prepare a list of trees that are supported as replacement trees
    that property owners can choose from when required to replace trees;

    14. A report be prepared identifying measures, outside of DCP provisions, which
    have been implemented in other local government areas to actively encourage
    the planting of trees by property owners;

    15. A review of the Tree DCP is to be conducted after 12 months and reported to
    Council;

    16. After the determination of an application, applicants have the opportunity to seek a review of determination under Section 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. If an application is refused or if the application if approved with conditions the applicant has the opportunity to request a review of determination that will be determined by the CEO. A review of determination must be completed within 6 months of the determination of the original application under Section 8.3(2) of the Act. Applicants need to ensure that they submit their application for review within 2 months of the determination in order to allow Council to conduct the review in most circumstances. Applicants must be informed at the time of the determination of their application of the review process available to them;

    17. There be no height requirement for the removal of exempt weeds;

    18. Council increase the tree canopy in business zone to 25%;

    19. To assist residents to plant trees in places that will ensure the health and vigour of the tree and to reduce risk, Council will provide information and advice on its website; and

    20. To reflect the importance of trees in our community, a range of summary statistics to be reported by Council on a quarterly basis. This includes: applications by type, number of tree removals and tree plantings, and if possible, costs associated with this. Statistics should also be provided for the public domain: tree removals, tree plantings, total stock of trees and tree canopy.

    Read the Council report and view the meeting minutes.

  • Council to consider draft Tree Management DCP

    4 months ago

    Council will consider the draft Tree Management DCP at its meeting on 27 August 2019. You can read the report to Council here (Item No: C0819(2) Item 1) and the Engagement Outcomes Report here.

    Council will consider the draft Tree Management DCP at its meeting on 27 August 2019. You can read the report to Council here (Item No: C0819(2) Item 1) and the Engagement Outcomes Report here.

  • Submissions closing date extended

    8 months ago

    The closing date for submissions has been extended from 30 April to 21 May.

    The closing date for submissions has been extended from 30 April to 21 May.

  • Council endorses draft Tree DCP for public exhibition

    12 months ago

    C1118(2) Item 5 Draft Tree DCP - Endorsement for Exhibition

    Council considered a report at its meeting on 27 November 2018

    Read the report and download the draft here


    Council resolved to

    1. Publicly exhibit the draft Tree Management Development Control Plan for the Inner West, for a period of 28 days, to replace the existing tree management controls contained in:

    i. the Comprehensive Inner West Development Control Plan 2016 for Ashbury, Ashfield, Croydon, Croydon Park, Haberfield, Hurlstone Park and Summer Hill;

    ii. Leichhardt Development Control Plan 2013; and

    iii. Marrickville Development Control Plan 2011.

    2. The results of the...

    C1118(2) Item 5 Draft Tree DCP - Endorsement for Exhibition

    Council considered a report at its meeting on 27 November 2018

    Read the report and download the draft here


    Council resolved to

    1. Publicly exhibit the draft Tree Management Development Control Plan for the Inner West, for a period of 28 days, to replace the existing tree management controls contained in:

    i. the Comprehensive Inner West Development Control Plan 2016 for Ashbury, Ashfield, Croydon, Croydon Park, Haberfield, Hurlstone Park and Summer Hill;

    ii. Leichhardt Development Control Plan 2013; and

    iii. Marrickville Development Control Plan 2011.

    2. The results of the public exhibition and community engagement process are presented to Council along with a final Tree DCP for adoption;

    3. When the policy comes back off public exhibition, a summary of which options identified in the discussion paper have been included and excluded in the draft DCP policy be provided; and

    4. A plain english language explanation of the policy be provided in the post exhibition report.

    The draft will be publicly exhibited early in 2019.

  • Council considered Tree DCP Harmonisation - discussion paper

    about 1 year ago

    Council considered an engagement report on the discussion paper at a meeting on Tuesday 25 September 2018. Council passed a motion to:

    1. Develop the DCP amendments on tree management unter the following principles:

    • Public safety
    • Protection of property
    • Equity/financial burden
    • Increase in urban canopy
    2. Prepare the draft Tree DCP taking into consideration the options within the discussion paper, and the feedback received from the community engagement

    3. Report the draft Tree DCP to Council prior to being placed on public exhibition

    4. Liaise with the Architectural School and Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology about any advice or assistance or partnership they can offer to assist Council in expanding and measuring tree canopy and green infrastructure

    5. Prepare a report about ways the Tree Management Grant System could be funded

    6. Consider an establishment of a Significant Tree register in the 2019/20 budget development process

    7. Report the level of Tree Canopy for the LGA against the Greater Sydney Commission's target of 40% on the Council website

    Council considered an engagement report on the discussion paper at a meeting on Tuesday 25 September 2018. Council passed a motion to:

    1. Develop the DCP amendments on tree management unter the following principles:

    • Public safety
    • Protection of property
    • Equity/financial burden
    • Increase in urban canopy
    2. Prepare the draft Tree DCP taking into consideration the options within the discussion paper, and the feedback received from the community engagement

    3. Report the draft Tree DCP to Council prior to being placed on public exhibition

    4. Liaise with the Architectural School and Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology about any advice or assistance or partnership they can offer to assist Council in expanding and measuring tree canopy and green infrastructure

    5. Prepare a report about ways the Tree Management Grant System could be funded

    6. Consider an establishment of a Significant Tree register in the 2019/20 budget development process

    7. Report the level of Tree Canopy for the LGA against the Greater Sydney Commission's target of 40% on the Council website

  • Council resolves that the draft changes to the DCP will be mailed out LGA wide for public submission

    11 months ago

    At the 11 September 2018 Council Meeting (C0918(1) Item 19) it was resolved that

    Notice of Motion: Tree DCP Mailout

    THAT:

    1.An LGA wide mail out calling on submissions on the new Tree DCP with information on what is happening in 5 ethnic languages, after the adoption of draft changes to the DCP;

    At the 11 September 2018 Council Meeting (C0918(1) Item 19) it was resolved that

    Notice of Motion: Tree DCP Mailout

    THAT:

    1.An LGA wide mail out calling on submissions on the new Tree DCP with information on what is happening in 5 ethnic languages, after the adoption of draft changes to the DCP;