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  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 TonoliÂ applied to the Land and Environment Court for an order under Part 2AÂ of the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 for the hedge to beÂ 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 beÂ pruned and maintained at a point equal to the ridge-line of the RettenmaiersâÂ roof, at their expense. The Court acknowledged the hedge was of scenic value and contributed toÂ the Rapposâ privacy and amenity but did not find that it had any heritage valueÂ itself. In rural areas, the threat of bushfires is also taken into account.Â 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 Andersonâs 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 necessaryÂ for privacy to their backyard and swimming pool. ImpactÂ on the views from living areas is more significant than from bedrooms orÂ 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 OperaÂ House) and whole views (such as a water view that contains the landÂ meeting the water). It seems reasonable for someone living on a largeÂ residential property on the outskirts of a town such as Blackheath to expectÂ broader views, especially when such a view was enjoyed earlier.â. Although no shade diagrams were provided, the CourtÂ accepted Mr Tonoliâs uncontested testimony that he lost sunlight to fourÂ windows between early May and late August each year and found that thisÂ amounted to a severe obstruction. The court said it is obliged under section 9 to consider what order, if any, bestÂ meets the justice of the situation and here it decided to âleave the loss whereÂ 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 âa reasonable effort to reach agreementâ, 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 homeÂ in 2006 they had plenty of sun through the north facing windows of theirÂ 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 arboristâs report. The Court will generally need expert medical evidence provided accordingÂ 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 regulationÂ defines âtreeâ as including bamboo, tiger vines/giant clumping grass and vines as well as any woody perennial plant (shrub) (Lentfer v Hopkins  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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