2.4 Trees and Vegetation


The purpose of this chapter is to manage the removal of tree/s and vegetation in accordance with the State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021. This SEPP regulates clearing that is not linked to development requiring consent. Clearing that is ancillary to development requiring consent will be assessed as part of the development assessment process and may require further assessment and approval under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

Where a tree or other vegetation is identified within this Chapter, a person must not clear vegetation without an approval granted by Council.

To gain approval for the removal of vegetation through this DCP, the following must be considered.

Definition of a Tree under this DCP is prescribed as being any tree, sapling or shrub which meets or exceeds one of the following;

  • is 3 metres or more in height;
  • has a circumference of 300mm (100mm diameter) or more at a height of 1 metre above natural ground surface; or
  • has a branch span of 3 metres or more

Definition of Vegetation under this DCP is prescribed as being any native vegetation including any of the following types of plants:

  • trees (including any sapling or shrub or any scrub),
  • understorey plants,
  • groundcover (being any type of herbaceous vegetation),
  • plants occurring in a wetland.


  1. Protect trees and vegetation that contribute to Camden’s Urban and Peri-urban Forest;
  2. Provide criteria for permitting removal and appropriate ongoing management of prescribed trees and vegetation;
  3. Establish exemptions that may apply under certain circumstances;
  4. Ensure stakeholders are notified of proposals involving tree removal where there is likely impact on local amenity; and
  5. Ensure where appropriate, tree removals are offset by equivalent planting so that over time there is not net loss of Camden’s vegetation.


  1. A person must not cut down, fell, uproot, kill, poison, ringbark, burn or otherwise destroy a tree or vegetation without approval from Council authorising such works.

    This control extends to a public authority except in relation to the pruning of a tree growing on, overhanging or encroaching onto land owned by Council or which is under its care, control and management.

    Note: Additional assessment requirements may apply where the application involves the removal of threatened species or their habitat.

    Where native vegetation clearing exceeds the Biodiversity Offset Scheme (BOS) Threshold Triggers or is an Area of Biodiversity Value (see the Biodiversity Values Map), approval is required from Native Vegetation Panel

  2. If the Council receives an application to remove a tree, it must notify adjoining land owners in accordance with Part 1 of this DCP if, in Council’s opinion, it may significantly impact on local amenity.
  3. This DCP does not apply to or in respect of:
    1. routine pruning of trees or shrubs that form a continuous hedge;
    2. a tree that is confirmed dead by a qualified arborist, provided that the tree does not contain hollows or habitat resources;
    3. a tree that harbours fruit fly;
    4. Any tree identified as a noxious weed (or similar) and includes the following trees:
      1. Privet (Ligustrum sp.);
      2. African Olive (Olea africana);
      3. Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos);
      4. Cocos Palm (Syagrus rhomanzofianum);
      5. Chínese Celtis (Celtis sinensis)
    5. the destruction or removal of a tree, within 0.5 metre of the boundary between land owned or occupied by different persons, for the purpose of enabling a survey to be carried out along that boundary by a registered surveyor; and
    6. Minor pruning of branches no greater than 50mm diameter provided that:
      1. pruning is undertaken in a way that does not impact on plant health; and
      2. if the tree is located on a neighbouring property, the permission of the owner has been sought prior to pruning work.
  4. Council must not grant an approval unless it has taken into consideration:
    1. the aesthetic, botanical, ecological, cultural and heritage importance of the tree/s or vegetation (refer to the Heritage Provisions within this DCP for more information).
    2. whether the tree presents or is likely to present a health or safety hazard to persons.
    3. where action is required to restrain or prevent damage to property.
    4. the extent to which the tree prevents solar access.
    5. whether the tree obstructs is likely to obstruct accessways, footpaths, roads, utility services, drainage lines or the like or would otherwise cause a nuisance to, or endanger the movement of, persons or their vehicles.
    6. the impact of the action or work on the appearance, health or stability of the tree and the general amenity of the surrounding area.
    7. in the case of an application for approval to remove a tree:
      1. whether the pruning of the tree would be a more practical and desirable alternative.
      2. whether a replacement tree or trees and of a certain type should be planted.
    8. Suitability of the site, matters could include slope, waterfront land, soil instability etc.
    9. to previous approvals that may contribute to cumulative impact     
  5. If an approval is granted for the removal of a tree or vegetation, up to four (4) replacement trees are required to be planted for every tree removed. This control does not apply to a tree or other vegetation, where Council is satisfied, is dying or dead, is not required as the habitat of native fauna and/or is a risk to human life or property.
  6. Approval cannot be issued under this DCP for the removal of a tree or other vegetation:
    1.  that is, or forms part of a heritage item or that is within a heritage conservation area, or
    2. that is, or forms part of an Aboriginal object or that is within an Aboriginal place of heritage significance,unless the Council is satisfied that the proposed activity:
    3. is of a minor nature or is for the maintenance of the heritage item, Aboriginal object, Aboriginal place of heritage significance or heritage conservation area, and
    4. would not adversely affect the heritage significance of the heritage item, Aboriginal object, Aboriginal place of heritage significance or heritage conservation area.

Note: Any removal of Exotic Trees or Weeds that do not require approval must be carried out as per the “Guidelines for the clearing of Exotic Tress and Dead Native Trees”.



Further Information: