Clearing vegetation on a road verge
  • Last updated:
  • 08 Aug 2019

There are occasions when council will approve a permit to remove or damage vegetation on a road verge such as during building, renovating or constructing a driveway.

The road verge, also known as the nature strip or road reserve, within our region generally consists of grass, footpath and a council provided street tree. Council aims to maintain and enhance the regions natural assets, liveability and environmental credentials by preserving road verge amenity and street trees.

Approval to clear vegetation on a road verge is required under council's Subordinate Local Law No.1 (Administration) 2016 Schedule 4 - Alteration or improvement to local government controlled areas and roads.

The permit process will assess the circumstances, ensure community safety is upheld and the road verge function is not compromised.

Services such as water, sewerage, power and telecommunications may be located within road verges. A permit will ensure that under and above ground utilities have been checked prior to any works being approved. This will avoid potential damage to utilities during any digging activities.

Applying for a permit

A permit application[292KB] may be granted for clearing or damaging vegetation or street trees assessed as "low value". Each permit application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

A non-refundable application fee applies and must be paid on lodgement of the application.

Generally, council will not issue a permit for the following requests:

  • where the proposed clearing may cause a hazard or risk to the environment or members of the public
  • clearing for views or aesthetic reasons
  • clearing to allow vehicles to park on the road verge
  • clearing or removing vegetation / street trees assessed as "medium to high value"
  • clearing vegetation in an area other than the road verge adjoining the applicant's property i.e. parks, environmental reserves, dunal or foreshore areas

Applications can be lodged online or via council's customer service centres. Applications will be assessed in accordance with the documentation provided and suitability of the proposed works. If necessary, a site visit may be conducted by an authorised council officer. 

A bond may also be applicable depending on the extent of the works and will not be payable until your application has been assessed and approved.

To ensure your application is considered, please include the following:

  • completed Permit Application form[292KB]
  • non-refundable application fee (vegetation clearing or damage)
  • Dial Before you Dig notification (for activities involving machinery)
  • proof of $2 million public liability insurance.

If your application is unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay the bond, however your application fee will not be refunded.

If the work is part of a community group project such as a community garden or similar, please contact council.

Bond

A bond may be applicable depending on the extent of the works to cover any damage to existing infrastructure or vegetation. The bond will be quoted on assessment of the application

The permit will not be issued until the relevant bond has been paid in full. The bond will be refunded once:

  • the activity is complete
  • photos have been submitted of the completed works
  • council is satisfied that there has been no damage to existing vegetation or infrastructure outside of what was permitted.

Public liability insurance

Where a permit application is approved, $2 million public liability insurance is required to remove or clear vegetation on the road verge.

The public liability insurance is required to protect the residents' interest should anything happen on council managed or controlled land where you intend to conduct activities. This will ensure that you, and anyone traversing the road verge is protected in the case of an accident or incident. Your home insurance company may provide public liability insurance.

Dial Before You Dig

Council encourages residents to Dial Before You Dig. This free service provides information on underground utilities to ensure there are no services located within your proposed garden that may be impacted. Visit www.1100.com.au or phone 1100. 

Street trees

Council has a long term goal to establish a healthy and sustainable street tree network across the region. 

Adequate Tree Protection Zones (TPZ) must be established around existing trees near to the proposed works. Tree Protection Zones consider both the crown and root area of a tree that requires protection for long-term viability.

More information

For more information refer to the fact sheet on clearing vegetation[283KB] on a road verge or contact council