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Overhanging tree branches

Overhanging tree branches

How can I help keep our streets green and safe?

Well-maintained gardens in private and commercial properties add greatly to the beauty and amenity of our municipality. Poorly maintained trees and plants however can cause an area to look unsafe, untidy and poorly cared for. In a commercial/industrial environment they can also have a detrimental impact on business.

For these reasons, Council has created a Local Law that requires property owners to maintain trees and plants and prevent them overhanging into public space.

What am I required to do, as a property owner/occupier?

The Local Law simply states that the owner/occupier of land must not allow vegetation on their property to encroach onto a Council reserve, at a height of less than 2.5 metres from the ground surface. This requirement therefore applies to footpaths, nature-strips, parks and other reserves controlled by Council.

It is recommended that you check your gardens in autumn and spring each year, and trim plants that may cause a problem. When checking plants it is important to remember their growing patterns to ensure that you trim at the right time. Allow plenty of room for growth when planting new trees or shrubs close to property boundaries. This will ensure foliage does not spill onto footpaths or neighbouring properties.

Why should I trim my plants?

Foliage that hangs lower than 2.5 metres; from the ground can create hazards for pedestrians. People could be hit in the eye or other parts of the body, causing injuries. If pruning is required, consideration should also be given to foliage hanging lower to the ground when becoming wet during rainy weather.

Foliage at ground level can cause tripping/slipping hazards for pedestrians. It can also act as a trap for litter, causing the front of your property to look untidy.

Owners/occupiers are therefore encouraged to act quickly in removing overhanging trees and plants from their properties.

Download the brochure below to see a diagram of the minimum area to be maintained.

What is the council doing about this issue?

Council has an ongoing program of street tree pruning that sees every Council street tree inspected every two years and trimmed where necessary. Council will act quickly to inspect any trees that you report as causing a problem.

What happens if I don't regularly trim my trees and shrubs?

If a complaint is received by Council that your property has overhanging vegetation, the first step will be for a Community Laws Officer to inspect the property. If the Officer deems that there are overhanging branches or shrubs blocking the footpath, a Notice to Comply may be issued to you requesting certain works be completed by a specific date.

If the works are not completed by that date or alternative arrangements have not been made with the officer, a contractor may be enlisted to complete the work on behalf of Council. Once the work is completed to the satisfaction of Council an invoice will be sent to you for payment of these works.

If you require a more time to complete the works then please contact the Officer named on the Notice to Comply to see if an extension of time can be granted. You will need to ensure that this is done well before the expiry of your notice.

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