Many of the trees found in our parks, gardens and road reserves have significant aesthetic, cultural and/or historical importance. In acknowledging these important values Kingborough Council decided to establish a Significant Tree Policy.
The aim of the policy is to protect trees in Kingborough that have the highest aesthetic, cultural, heritage and/or environmental values, compared with other trees in the municipal area. The policy is primarily aimed at conserving individual or groups of trees, rather than large areas of bushland. These are already protected under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 as threatened vegetation communities or other provisions in the planning scheme.
The policy outlines the process and the criteria to be considered for the listing or delisting of significant trees Table E24.1 of the Kingborough Interim Planning Scheme 2015. Details of the listing is also available in the link provided below.
What makes a tree significant?
A tree must meet the requirements of one or more categories of significance that will act to set the tree apart from others of its type to be included on in the planning scheme.
- Aesthetic significance
- Size (height, circumference, canopy)
- Landscape significance
- Historical significance
- Rarity of species, variety or genome
- Unusual physical features
How to nominate a significant tree?
Everyone in Kingborough is invited to nominate significant trees to be listed or delisted in the planning scheme. Nominations are accepted through-out the year.
Nominations for listing or delisting must be received in writing by completing the significant tree nomination form.
Nominations for listing must demonstrate that the tree is genuinely significant in some way. Council may require addition information to assess a nomination. Nominations for delisting must outline the reasons and may include supporting information for the request. Council may request an Arborist report to support a nomination for delisting.
How will nominations be assessed?
Each nomination is assessed by Council officers with appropriate skills in two or more of the following fields: arboriculture, cultural heritage, environmental management and urban and/or landscape design. Where resources are not available, Council officers may also need to call on the advice of an expert regarding specific values. Each nomination is assessed on its merits against the categories of significance outlined in the Significant Tree Policy.
Where a nomination for listing or delisting is supported by Council staff and it is located on private land, the landowner will be contacted to inform them of Council’s intention to list or delist a tree in the planning scheme. Landowners will have the opportunity to make a submission, in support or against a proposed listing or delisting, as part of the public consultation process described further below.
A report will be presented to Council to inform them of the nominations received and to seek initiation of a planning scheme amendment as the Planning Authority. This will be followed by a public consultation process to obtain the input of affected landowners, adjoining landowners and general public.
After the public exhibition period has closed, a report addressing each submission will be presented to Council, as the Planning Authority, to determine whether to proceed with the planning scheme amendment and (if proceeding) certify the amendment and forward a report to the Tasmanian Planning Commission.
The standard procedure for planning scheme amendments and determination by the Tasmanian Planning Commission will apply and this will include the opportunity for people who have made submissions during the exhibition period to attend a hearing at the Tasmanian Planning Commission.
An overview of the planning scheme process and a flow chart illustrating the various steps in the process is available on the Tasmanian Planning Commission’s website.
Advertising and notification will be undertaken in accordance with requirements Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 which is broadly as follows:
- Notification to landowners and adjoining landowners;
- A site notice;
- Advertisement in The Mercury and the Kingborough Chronicle;
- Exhibition in Council’s administrative building; and
- Exhibition on Council’s website.
When the planning scheme amendment has been determined by the Tasmanian Planning Commission, Council will notify:
- The person/group who has nominated the tree.
- The landowner, when the tree is on land other than that owned or leased by Council. The notification will outline the responsibilities in relation to the planning scheme provisions.
- Any owners of land adjoining the property on which the tree is situated.
What happens after a tree is listed in the planning scheme?
Once a tree is listed, it will not be physically sign-posted, but details of the listing will be publicised in the Planning Scheme and on Council’s website.
Any person wanting to cut, remove or otherwise alter the state of a significant tree must contact Council as a permit may be required.
In situations where an immediate risk to public safety from a significant tree is identified, Council approval must still be obtained; and Council reserves the right to require an arborist’s assessment to be undertaken. In these circumstances the decision may be determined by the General Manager under delegated authority.
Development applications that may impact or include the removal of a tree listed in Table E24.1 are required to be assessed against the Significant Trees Code of the planning scheme.