Wyong Council Updates Tree Removal Policy

Note this post is from 2015. Wyong Council has now changed its Tree Policy again. For up to date information on Central Coast Councils new tree removal policy please Click Here. (Updated by Will Jones 22nd March 2018)

After years of home owners having to battle to have their trees made safe, Wyong Council has now removed the red tape. It’s sad to see a complete reversal of their hard line policy to tree removal. Again a knee-jerk reaction – perhaps a more consistent practical and common sense approach all along would have been more appropriate.

Council unanimously adopted a new tree policy to make it easier for landowners to remove trees, in response to the significant damage caused to properties by fallen trees in the recent storms.
A landowner will now be able to remove any tree or vegetation, unless endangered, on residential properties less than 1500m in size, without an application to Council.

For landowners with properties larger than 1500m, trees within 12 metres of any structure can also be removed without having to apply to Council.

Council can assist landowners in identifying an endangered tree and residents are urged to contact Council if they are unsure.

Whilst legally the policy comes into effect once the public notice appears in the local paper, within the next 5 to 10 days, Council will no longer be enforcing the old policy.

Mayor Eaton OAM said: 
“We have acted swiftly to bring this new policy to Council to give certainty and new powers to landowners  so they can protect their properties . 
“Last week we saw hundreds of trees fall on properties and the resulting devastation it has caused. This new policy will allow the community to remove trees they consider dangerous.  
“On an average block in the Shire you will now be able to remove a tree without permission from Council. 
“This is a logical and sensible reaction to what has occurred.  We are cutting red tape and giving residents the right to protect their homes and families.”

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Wyong Shire Council has brought forward consideration of a new tree policy as a result of the recent storms and the significant damage caused by fallen trees.

The policy has already been publicly exhibited for community comment and will be discussed at a special Extraordinary Meeting tonight at 6pm.

Mayor Doug Eaton OAM said Council is bringing adoption of the policy forward as residents want to be able to protect their property from trees given the recent storm impacts.

“Given the recent devastation caused by the storms, residents are more concerned than ever about the potential damage from trees that have been planted too close to their properties.”

“Under the new policy if a residential property is less than 1500m2 you will be able to remove any tree as long as it is not a threatened species.

“If your property is larger than 1500m2, trees within 12 metres of a structure can be removed.

“My advice to residents who are worried about the integrity of any tree following the storms – now is the time to look into getting it removed.”

Council’s Director of Development, Mr Scott Cox, said the existing policy was reviewed to bring it into line with the 10/50 bushfire rules and to ensure it applies to all situations and all potentially dangerous trees.

“We are cutting red tape and giving residents the authority to remove a tree they feel is a risk to themselves or their property,” Mr Cox said.

There are state government laws that protect endangered trees so our advice to residents is to contact Wyong Council or T&G Tree Services if they are not sure what type of tree it is before they remove it.

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Whilst this is great news for tree loppers keen to make a fast buck, it is certainly a great loss to our Coastal environment.