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Council clarifies Street Tree Master Plan role

9 June, 2016Posted in: Environment
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Wingecarribee Shire Council has clarified the role Council’s recently adopted Street Tree Master plays in the management of the region’s street trees.

“The Southern Highlands is renowned for its beautiful tree-lined streetscapes and the adopted Street Tree Master Plan provides a comprehensive and strategic framework for the sustainable management of our region’s street trees,” said Council’s Coordinator of Open Spaces, Greg Bray.

“However it’s important to reiterate that the plan only relates to the Shire’s publicly managed street trees.”

The clarification comes after recent media reports have linked the recently approved Street Tree Master Plan with tree works undertaken on private developments.

“The Street Tree Master Plan was adopted by Council in April of this year and should not be associated with any tree removals, plantings or maintenance undertaken on private land,” Mr Bray explained.

“Approval for work undertaken on private land must undergo a totally different process.”

In general, when major works involving tree removals are to be undertaken on private land, either a Development Application or Tree Removal Application are required before works can proceed.

Major developments may also require additional supporting documentation be provided including an environmental impact assessment which looks at the impacts on flora and fauna.  A heritage report, vegetation management plan and bushfire assessment are other documents also commonly requested for major developments where significant tree removals are proposed.

Only when these documents have been submitted and a subsequent report is prepared by Council staff is the Development Application then placed before councillors where a final decision is made.

“Council’s Street Tree Master Plan was put together to ensure the leafy character of our Shire’s public spaces is preserved and enhanced well into the future,” Mr Bray added.

“It shouldn’t be confused as a reference for the management of trees on private land.”

To learn more about Council’s Street Tree Master Plan visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/environment/management-of-trees/street-tree-master-plan.