Thursday, August 29, 2019

Inner West Council Tree DCP

Read the litany of amendments made to the Tree DCP at 27 August 2019 Inner West Council Meeting.

How the draft Tree Management DCP on the Agenda Papers 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 guided 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.

Council Meeting 27 August 2019 Agenda Papers

Item No: C0819(2) Item 1
Subject:         Tree Management DCP            

Prepared By:     Gwilym Griffiths - Urban Forest Manger  

Authorised By:  Elizabeth Richardson - Deputy General Manager Assets and Environment


THAT Council adopt the amended draft Tree Management DCP shown as Attachment 1 and replace the existing controls as set out in:
a.   Part 2.20 Tree Management of the Marrickville Development control 2011;
b.   Part 4 Tree Preservation and Management and Tree Replacement and New Tree Planting contained within Chapter C, Sustainability of the Inner West Comprehensive Development Control Plan (DCP) 2016 for Ashbury, Ashfield, Croydon, Croydon Park, Haberfield, Hurlstone Park and Summer Hill; and
c.   C1.14 Tree Management contained with part C – Place of the Leichardt DCP 2013.


The Draft Tree Management DCP was placed on public exhibition and every household and property owner were notified. The flyer was available in six key languages English, Greek, Italian, Chinese (simplified), Spanish and Vietnamese.

A total of 489 submissions were received with the majority (81%) of submissions outlining support for the Draft DCP.

The key themes raised in the submission were:

1.    Concern with costs - General concern with the cost of maintaining trees including the Council fees associated with lodging an application. Several comments regarding concerns with the cost of having to apply to Council every year to have pruning done on their tree.

2.    Trees are important - Many statements where received outlining that trees are important in our area and they should be protected.

3.    Expand exempt weed list - Request for the exempt weeds list to be expanded to cover more trees. One tree species mentioned many times was Camphor Laurel.

4.    Concern about reducing protections - General concern with the nature of this DCP amendment and opposition to making it easier to remove trees on private property.

5.    Concerns with neighbouring trees - Distress with neighbouring trees, with some submissions expressing the view that Council should be more involved in dealing with neighbour tree disputes.

6.    Guide where trees are planted - Comments that residents need permission to remove trees but not to plant trees and a call for guidelines to be developed to inform residents of what to look out for when planting a tree.

7.    Lack of notification on draft - Concern that the Draft Tree DCP wasn’t notified sufficiently.

8.    Protected tree definition too broad - The criterion that defines a protected tree is too broad.

9.    Support for Council subsidised costs - Comments received outlining support for the proposal to provide subsidised costs to residents who have valuable canopy trees.

10.  Increase distance exemption – requests for the distance exemption (500mm) be increased as it is not enough.

11.  Against distance exemption – requests for the distance exemption (500mm) be deleted from the DCP as it should be on a case by case basis.

12.  Support removal DA's for HCAs – Support for the removal of the requirement to lodge a DA for tree work if your property is located in a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA), permit only required.


As a result of comments made during the exhibition process it is recommended that the following amendments are made to the Draft Tree Management DCP:

•           Expansion of the exempt weed list. Six new tree species have been added to the list (including Camphor Laurel). Refer page 4.

•           Addition of long-term tree works permits. Council will consider the submission and approval of a long-term tree management plans for works on trees. This will allow an applicant to carry out an agreed scope of work to trees within their property without application to Council within a set timeframe (maximum 5 years). Refer page 9.

•           Inclusion of diagrams to add visual clarity to the document.

•           Addition to tree removal assessment criteria to factor in existing contribution to canopy cover from other trees on the site when determining approval to remove a tree. Refer page 9.

•           Inclusion of economic considerations to the decision making for tree removal when damage to underground services (such as sewer lines, water services) is established. See page 10.

•           Addition of the ability to allow compensation planting for tree removal on a property to be offset at a different location if there is no space on the original property. Refer Page 11.

•           Insertion of the statement ‘if the tree was there first’ to consideration for solar access to solar panel or clearance to data receivers. Refer page 10.

•           Other minor issues identified such as numbering and referencing

These changes are reflected in the Draft Tree Management DCP - see attachment 1.


Council will be developing a subsidy/ grant program which will be made available to residents who have valuable canopy trees on their property and require assistance to maintain those trees. Funding of this program will be allocated from existing tree management budgets to the value of $25,000.


Draft Tree Management DCP as exhibited with changes

NSW Government Target 40% Tree Canopy

"We’re working with everyone in Sydney to plant Five Million Trees (5MT) by 2030. That’s more trees in our streets, parks, backyards, neighbourhoods and schools, so we can grow our tree canopy from 16.8%* to 40% (*source Office of Environment and Heritage, 2011)."
No photo description available.
Inner West Tree Canopy

Current Inner West Tree Canopy: 

Red 0-10% 
Orange 11-15% 
Yellow 16-25%

Heat Mapping of the Inner West

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