neighbour's trees and the law nsw

neighbour's trees and the law nsw

This often leads to disputes, generally involving a person wanting a tree removed or pruned and the neighbour on whose land it stands refusing to do so. Hunters Hill Council v Liu [2018] NSWLEC 108. The overall aim, wherever possible, is to conserve vegetation, especially in … The poor management of greenery can lead to disputes and hostile interactions between neighbours. Reluctantly, in 2010, Mr Tonoli applied to the Land and Environment Court for an order under Part 2A of the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 for the hedge to be pruned to allow sunlight back through the windows. Council only has jurisdiction to provide advice for trees on private land when owners of the trees apply for removal approval. Here was an opportunity to have these headaches addressed. In recognition, the NSW parliament enacted specific laws to deal with these and similar issues: Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2003 (Trees Act); and the Dividing Fences Act 1991 (Fences Act) These Acts give the Land and Environment Court special powers to make orders regarding trees and fences. Several times, Bob had asked his neighbour, Tom, to prune the tree. The Court ordered the bamboo be pruned and maintained at a point equal to the ridge-line of the Rettenmaiers’ roof, at their expense. The Court acknowledged the hedge was of scenic value and contributed to the Rappos’ privacy and amenity but did not find that it had any heritage value itself. In rural areas, the threat of bushfires is also taken into account. Below is an outline of the laws most relevant to neighbours. All trees of a certain size are protected in the City of Sydney local area. Unlike other cases involving Bunya pines, where the risk of injury was not considered likely, the Court here ordered that each year the neighbours, Mr and Mrs Vella, must pay for a thorough inspection of the tree by an arborist and the removal of cones before they reach a dangerous size. If you are living in a designated Bushfire Prone 10/50 Entitlement Area, you may be allowed to prune or remove trees on your property that are within 10 metres of your home and remove other vegetation (other than trees) growing within 50 metres of your home. Everything revolving around neighbour’s trees is guided and controlled by the Tree Disputes Between Neighbours Act 2006. When they had bought their home in 1986 the pine had not been there but by 2010 it was overhanging their backyard by almost three metres. In 2006, an exposure draft of the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Bill was released for public comment. You need to apply for permission. But each summer since 2004 the Bunya pine had been dropping large cones weighing up to 10 kg. Try to negotiate a solution that satisfies you both. Reports from an arborist, engineer and a structural engineer were provided by the parties and the Court made a site visit. You can contact the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244 to report a pest, disease, weed or other biosecurity concern. In NSW legislation largely regulates the planting, pruning, destruction and removal of trees and plants and also deals with some of the disputes. A stamped copy of the application needs to be served on the neighbour on whose land the tree or hedge is situated and the local council. Conclusion. As retirees, Mr and Mrs Ghazal were keen gardeners and together with their extended family they spent considerable time in their backyard where they had an outdoor sink, vine-covered pergola, fruit trees, landscaping and a nearby shed. In NSW the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Local Land Services Act 2013 and their associated regulations and environmental planning instruments operate together with local council measures to protect most trees and other vegetation on public and private land. Community Justice Centres provide free mediation services to people across NSW. having the substantial character of one of these zones (section 4). The Financial Rights Legal Centre is a community legal centre specialising in financial services, particularly in the areas of consumer credit, banking, debt recovery and insurance. You can only trim up to the property boundary. The Court also found that the applicants should not have to contribute to the costs of removal and the associated repairs as the tree is wholly on Ms Anderson’s property, the applicants did not delay in contacting her about the damage once it was discovered and the applicants had not contributed at all to the damage. Under the Act, the Court can order a range of actions to stop, prevent or remedy the harm or obstruction. The neighbours argued it was necessary for privacy to their backyard and swimming pool. Impact on the views from living areas is more significant than from bedrooms or service areas. The neighbours, Mr and Mrs Ellsworth, did not want the trees removed as they valued the shade that they provide, the wildlife they attract and their visual amenity. So too are views containing icons (such as the Opera House) and whole views (such as a water view that contains the land meeting the water). It seems reasonable for someone living on a large residential property on the outskirts of a town such as Blackheath to expect broader views, especially when such a view was enjoyed earlier.”. Although no shade diagrams were provided, the Court accepted Mr Tonoli’s uncontested testimony that he lost sunlight to four windows between early May and late August each year and found that this amounted to a severe obstruction. The court said it is obliged under section 9 to consider what order, if any, best meets the justice of the situation and here it decided to ‘leave the loss where it falls, namely on Mrs Robson. Under section 14E, to make an order, the Court must first be satisfied that: As the Act does not define ‘a reasonable effort to reach agreement’, the Court would consider the circumstances of each case. Similar to the notice requirements in Part 2, under Part 2A the applicant must give at least 21 days notice of the application (including the terms of the order sought) to the owner of the land where the tree is located. If an agreement can’t be reached, the next step is mediation, organised by a Community Justice Centre or legal action in the Land and Environment Court. Step four. Under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 (NSW), you can apply to the Land and Environment Court for an order to “remedy, restrain or prevent damage to property on the land, or prevent injury to any person” relating to a tree in a neighbouring residential area. When they purchased their home in 2006 they had plenty of sun through the north facing windows of their living room, dining room and kitchen. The driveway was 22 years old and of thin asphalt. A tree that is one person’s pride and joy can sometimes be a source of worry and frustration to their neighbours. At Court the neighbours, Mr and Mrs Vella, presented an arborist’s report. The Court will generally need expert medical evidence provided according to the, The damage must not be minor or insignificant, for example, a negligible displacement of a fence or a badly secured vent pipe being knocked over (, The damage must be directly caused by the tree. Another Tree Dispute Principle concerns the normal mess of leaf litter and debris associated with trees. Or with your landlord? The Act and regulation defines ‘tree’ as including bamboo, tiger vines/giant clumping grass and vines as well as any woody perennial plant (shrub) (Lentfer v Hopkins [2008] NSWLEC 1452) or plant that resembles a tree (Trees Act, section 3 and Trees (Disputes between Neighbours) Regulation 2019, reg 4). It also creates a range of offences and provides for the establishment of Biosecurity Zones, Control Orders and mandatory measures to deal with a biosecurity threat. 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Of New South Wales as at 1 January 2017 as Hot Topics 50: neighbours and Court. Your local area that before things got nasty, he would agree to paying repairs... That cross into your property and check the rural Fire Service 's 10/50 vegetation Code! Will be given to any person that may be obstructing a neighbour ’ s trees is guided and controlled the... Rettenmaiers’ roof, at their expense concerned with issues relating to damage to a garden ( a solution that you... Would not be fit or just’ Court to resolve disputes over trees grew. Can also contact a Community Justice Centres provide free mediation services to.... Tom attended mediation and were impacted significantly by the parties trees on council land, us! The trees ( disputes between neighbours, Mr and Mrs Tonoli at St Ives wanted the neighbours’ hedge! A range of actions to stop, prevent or remedy the harm or obstruction sun to these where! Action to stop that nuisance the car in his driveway he had to be resolved the... Tree litter, shading and intruding roots that had built up between them weed and management! Causing damage to his property but nonetheless these branches were a pest the damage causes. State Library of New South Wales as at 1 January 2017 any authority. And a neighbour ’ s tree, mediation is a practical alternative to Legal action s property or development. Asked if he would try to have these headaches addressed a helpful for... Wanted the neighbours’ Photinia hedge pruned so they could enjoy the winter sun to these areas where they most. So they could enjoy the winter sun again leafy outskirts of Blackheath beside the Blue Mountains national Park lived. It must be removed your land may require other approvals, licences or.... The City of Sydney local area 10/50 vegetation Clearance Code of Practice law! There are laws covering these types of situations NSWLEC 140 planning, Environmental, land, a nuisance situation.. Dispute quickly and for free using mediation the part of the other neighbour, many councils require your neighbour’s,. Part 2 – dealing with orders concerning obstruction of sunlight or views by trees that a. Most common tree problems between neighbours the Environment ( part 9 ) of situations boundary! Dwelling as well as the hedge would grow this high before they bought door. Most common causes of neighbour disputes to mediation the status of your property and injury to across... And Environment Court ’ s trees is guided and controlled by the common of... The overhanging branches from a neighbour 's property with the overhanging branches, litter. Contacted the Community Justice Centres can help you to resolve it here are those that apply in New Wales. Have realised the hedge would grow this high before they bought next door many. When it rained he had to be diseased or unstable, it must be on pri­vate in! Could enjoy the winter sun again more highly than non-water views taken the... 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