Posted on February 16, 2011 by Megan Hawley

Councils’ Powers To Fell Trees Overhanging Roads

The Land and Environment Court has confirmed that councils have power to remove or lop trees and other vegetation that are on or overhanging a public road if, in the council’s opinion it is necessary for the purpose of carrying out road work or removing a traffic hazard.

Justice Biscoe of the Land & Environment Court has held that provided the council forms the requisite opinion regarding the necessity of the works, there is no other constraint on its power to carry out the works, and there is no obligation to obtain consent under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 or consider the impact of the works on the environment.

This ensures that councils can take urgent action necessary to deal with dangerous and hazardous situations.