Tree Removal under DA

This guide is designed to help with Tree Removal in New South Wales

Most information about tree removal applies to all states in Australia but please keep in mind that tree and vegetation management policy can differ from council to council.

What is a DA?

A Development Application is an application made to your Local Council seeking consent to carry out a proposed development. All applications are subject to council's tree preservation requirements that protect and preserve the tree species important to the local area. Unlike CDC, once the DA is lodged with council, it will take between 21 to 90 days for a decision to be made, depending on the council.

Can my tree be removed under DA?

Use our Tree Removal Guide to find out if a DA is necessary for your tree removal.

There are some circumstances which complicate tree removal but it is not impossible. You need good reasons if your tree is protected, located in a Biodiversity Values Area or exceeds certain measures. Councils will always do what they can to save the tree first!

The DA for tree removal is still likely to be approved if one of the following reasons apply:

  • The tree is dangerous. You don’t need a DA if the tree is already dead or an imminent danger. An arborist can give you advice about the danger of a tree.
  • The tree is in conflict with built structures where all engineering alternatives have already been considered.
Your DA is unlikely to be approved in one of the following scenarios:
  • Views, solar access, leaf fruit or sap drop, bird or bat droppings
  • Allergies if they cannot be medically linked by a specialist doctor.
  • Removal for fences, footpaths, or driveways.

How can I remove a tree under DA in NSW?

For an DA application you need the property address and access details, details of the tree(s) and a Tree Location Plan (either a block plan or a text description). You may also provide photos of the tree(s).
If you would like to apply for more than 5 trees, contact your council directly for application.

You can apply for approval of a DA online by following a few steps:

  1. Open the NSW Planning Portal and select the ’Apply online’ button
  2. Select your council and the service you wish to apply for, then select the 'Get started' button
  3. Complete the online form and upload the required supporting documentation
  4. Review and confirm all the information you’ve provided
  5. Submit your application

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