Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents of their responsibilities when it comes to undertaking tree works on their property.
The call comes after a recent incident where a Bowral home-owner was fined $3000 for the removal of a Cedrus deodara without the necessary approvals.
Commonly known as a Himalayan Cedar, the tree was removed without official consent in May 2016.
On receiving complaints from nearby residents, an Investigation Officer from Council subsequently determined that the works constituted a breach of section 76A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
“Residents wishing to undertake any tree removal on their property should always obtain the proper approvals regardless of the condition of the tree,” said Council’s Group Manager of Planning Development and Regulatory Services, Nick Wilton.
“Just because a tree is located on private property does not absolve a home owner of responsibility and enable them to do as they wish.”
Clause 5.9 of the Wingecarribee Local Environment Plan 2010 states that:
“A person must not ringbark, cut down, lop, remove, injure, or wilfully destroy any tree or other vegetation to which any such development control plan applies without the authority conferred by:
- Development consent, or
- A permit granted by the Council.”
Penalties applicable under the section 76A of the Act recommend fines of $3000 per individual per tree and $6000 for corporations.
“If homeowners wish to take out any significant works on trees it’s recommended they first enlist the services of a qualified Arborist,” Mr Wilton said.
“The Arborist will then help determine if the tree requires removal and if so, can assist with the necessary application form which must be lodged with Council.
“At the end of the day no work should be undertaken without first obtaining the proper approvals from Council,” Mr Wilton added.
“It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”