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Vegetation Patch Removal

Information on this page is accurate at the time of publishing, however is subject to change as further information becomes available on the processes and responsibilities under the NSW Biodiversity Law Reforms.


All proposed clearing of patches of vegetation on private land now require approval under the NSW Government 2017 Biodiversity Law Reforms.


Before proceeding to use the information on this page, you MUST have confirmed that Council is the agency who will handle your application.

If you have not confirmed this, check the Tree and Vegetation Clearing on Private Land page for details on who to contact and what application process may be required.


Current Options for vegetation patch removal applications to Council

Under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP), Council can issue a permit for removal of trees and other vegetation only if the clearing is below the biodiversity offsets thresholds and where a Council Development Control Plan (DCP) requires a permit.

Currently, Council can issue permits for the removal of individual trees (1 or more) but not for clearing patches of native vegetation below the biodiversity offsets thresholds until amendments to Council's DCPs are endorsed by Council this year.

NOTE: The current temporary inability of Council to issue a permit for clearing patches of native vegetation under the Vegetation SEPP is NOT a legal defence to the offence of picking plants under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

Picking plants is defined as to:

gather, take, cut, remove from the ground, destroy, poison, crush or injure the plant or any part of a threatened species, ecological community or protected plant.

In the absence of a Council Permit, a NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Biodiversity Conservation Licence OR consent from Council under a Development Application will be required in order to avoid possible prosecution for unauthorised native vegetation clearing.

See the following Important Note block for information on submitting a Development Application.

Alternatively, applicants are advised to defer the submission of an application to Council until the DCP amendments are finalised.


Development Applications and Heritage Conservation Areas / Items

If you are proposing to remove trees or vegetation as part of, or related to:

  • A Development Application
  • A Heritage Conservation Area 
  • A Heritage Item 


  • Undertake our Quick Quiz to determine what steps you can take, or
  • Telephone 02 4868 0888 to discuss your proposal with the Duty Planner, or
  • Visit Council's Customer Service Desk

Council is currently completing the development of a new online mapping tool to assist you in your vegetation patch removal application for Council administered lands.

A link will be provided to the new tool once it is fully operational.


(Test version only)

Last Updated: March 6th, 2019
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