Introduction of Planning Controls over Significant Trees in Casey

An amendment to the Casey Planning Scheme, called Amendment C148, was approved by the Minister for Planning on 18 June 2015.

Amendment C148 provides appropriate protection to identified significant trees in Casey via planning scheme controls.

This means that a planning permit will be required to remove, destroy or lop the tree or undertake buildings and works within the Tree Protection Zone of an identified tree. An arborist's opinion may also be required before Council makes a decision on any permit application.

A number of public submissions were made to Amendment C148 and referred to an independent panel for consideration.

Download a copy of the panel report C148 Panel Report (977kb)

On 18 November 2014, Council adopted Amendment C148 to the Casey Planning Scheme, and submitted the amendment to the Minister for Planning for final approval.  Such approval was granted on 18 June 2015.

Council also adopted the Casey Significant Tree Strategy, Incorporating the Significant Tree Register (November 2014) at this meeting.  This replaced the Casey Significant Tree Study (2011).

The Casey Significant Tree Strategy, Incorporating the Significant Tree Register (November 2014) is a comprehensive investigation into significant trees in Casey.  The study was initiated as a response to the loss of many trees through rapid urban development.

Council is committed to the preservation of natural environments, which include significant trees.  There are obvious environmental and community benefits of trees in urban, suburban and non-urban areas of Casey including:

  • improved landscape values and biodiversity;
  • provision of habitat for birds and animals;
  • improved air quality;
  • provision of shade and shelter; and
  • improved usability and aesthetics of public recreation areas.

The negative consequences of unchecked tree removal for rapid urbanisation include:

  • a hard built form with an increased heat island effect;
  • loss of future mature vegetation; and
  • an eventual decline in biodiversity (both flora and fauna species).

These compounded effects will reduce the liveability and value of Casey’s communities.

The Casey Significant Tree Study, Incorporating the Significant Tree Register (November 2014) identified approximately 650 River Red Gums and 350 exotic and other significant native trees.  Approximately 250 trees are located on private property, the remainder being on public land, including Council land.

The tree lists were compiled initially from a public nomination process in consultation with the Conservation Advisory Committee.  The list was further developed with expert arborist input, with all trees assessed against the National Trust criteria of heritage, scientific, cultural, landscape and/or habitat values.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hazardous trees - What if my tree is dangerous or becomes dangerous?

Owners can remove or lop parts of vegetation without a permit if there is an immediate risk of personal injury or damage to property.

Tree protection zone – How do you measure the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ)?

The standard TPZ of 20m (River Red Gums) and 15m (other trees) are shown on the planning scheme maps.

The actual TPZ is calculated on the acceptable formula (diameter of the tree at breast height multiplied by 12).  This figure will be used in the assessment of planning applications or exemptions.

Maintenance of trees on private land - Can Council maintain significant trees on private land?

It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that trees on private land are not safety hazards or cause nuisance, regardless of any planning controls that may apply to the land. 

Owners who attempt removal/lopping without a permit may be pursued with enforcement action.

Trees on public land - Why are street trees, reserve trees and other trees on public land included on the significant tree list?

The significance criteria are the determinants for inclusion on the significant tree list, not land ownership.

An arborist assessment will be used to assess applications for removal/major lopping, giving a level playing field for all owners of significant trees.