Tree removal is always a hot topic and Eurobodalla Shire Council is after community feedback on changes to two relevant documents on the issue.
At Tuesday’s Council, it was agreed to put on public exhibition draft amendments to the Residential Zone Development Control Plan for 28 days from this Wednesday – May 8.
Council’s Director of Planning Lindsay Usher says the amendments are needed to rectify unintended consequences arising from the NSW Government’s 2017 land-management and biodiversity reforms.
“Changes in NSW legislation mean tree-management measures no longer apply to non-rural land in the Eurobodalla, resulting in inconsistencies in assessment and approval requirements for tree clearing across the shire,” Mr Usher says.
Council says the amendments would reinstate control measures to non-rural land zoned E2-Environmental Conservation, E4-Environmental Living, R5-Large Lot Residential, and RE1-Public Recreation similar to those prior to the 2017 reforms.
At the meeting, Councillors also endorsed concurrent amendments to the Tree Preservation Code.
Mr Usher says updating the code will give landholders more certainty around the requirements for the removal of undesired vegetation and enable clearing to maintain rural infrastructure appropriate to lifestyle blocks.
“A Council permit helps protect landowners from prosecution for unintentional illegal clearing,” he says.
“The amendments bring us back to a consistent approach to the removal of vegetation on non-rural land.
“They also help ensure the visual amenity, biodiversity resilience and tourism appeal of trees in Eurobodalla’s non-rural landscape is protected against unauthorised clearing and pruning on public land.
“That’s important because the incremental nature of canopy loss often means changes go largely unnoticed, with reduced vegetation becoming the new normal.”
Draft amendments to the Residential Zone Development Control Plan will be open for comment from May 8 for 28 days.