This consultation is now closed.

Beautiful Jacaranda tree in backyard

We’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.


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

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