Our community highly values the green, leafy nature of Bayside and respecting the natural environment is a key priority of the 2050 Bayside Community Vision.
Trees are not only important to enhancing Bayside's immediate liveability but preserving them now is vital to our future.
"Protecting biodiversity including preserving indigenous and marine flora and fauna and minimising our impact on the environment is important to our community."
"This includes stewardship of Bayside’s remnent heath and woodlands as well as our distinctive tree lined streetscapes, native vegetation, coastal and marine environments."
Additionally, in December 2019, Council voted unanimously to declare a Climate Emergency in Bayside.
"In Bayside, we are lucky to have access to iconic beaches, parklands and a significant number of tree-lined streets. Unfortunately, climate change is threatening these essential assets and the biodiversity they support."
Our Climate Emergency Action Plan steps out our urgent response to the impacts of climate change. With nearly 3,000 community members giving feedback to support the development of the Draft Climate Emergency Action Plan, the Bayside community has had a key role in identifying the top themes for Council to focus on in the Action Plan.
Protection of trees on both public and private land and the maintenance of Bayside's tree canopy cover will provide vital relief from the urban heat island effect, supporting the health of Bayside residents, and local ecosystems.
An increasing density of urban development means that the number of large trees on private land is decreasing, making the health and sustainability of these trees increasingly important.
Council has committed to providing high-quality living environments for residents, ratepayers and visitors. Bayside’s vegetation makes an important contribution to local amenity, sense of place, neighbourhood character, landscape values and cultural heritage. It enhances local climatic conditions by providing shade, wind protection and relief from the urban heat island effect. In some locations, vegetation also contributes to native fauna habitat and local biodiversity.
Both landowners and Council are custodians of trees and vegetation on our property. To ensure we continue to maintain and enhance our natural environment including tree canopy cover, caring for trees is important to ensure the health and long-term benefits for the community and our environment.
Regular maintenance and pruning of trees on private property will ensure that residents in Bayside remain safe and can enjoy the benefits of tree retention and increased canopy coverage. Often this is as simple as raking leaves, cleaning rooves and gutters or the occasional pruning of trees. Regular pruning and maintenance of private trees by qualified arborists, where appropriate, will help to detect, minimise, and remedy issues that may impact a tree’s health and safety. A maintenance plan will help ensure ongoing benefits of healthy trees well into the future.
Permits may be required in some situations to prune or remove trees on private property.
You can support Council’s vision to create a greener Bayside and play an active role in environmental preservation by nominating a tree for our Significant Tree Register.
Create a free property VicPlan report to find out if your property is within an overlay. You can then click on the 'overlay' link to see if there are any tree or vegetation controls.
There are several types of overlays applied to areas of Bayside.
Heritage Overlay (HO) applies the State Government’s policies and reflects our objectives to protect historically significant buildings, precincts, trees, structures and/or places.
Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) aims to identify, conserve and enhance the character of significant landscapes. A planning permit is generally required to construct a building or construct or carry out works including vegetation/tree removal and/or lopping.
Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) aims to protect areas of significant vegetation and fauna, particularly vegetation native to Australia. To ensure that development minimises loss of vegetation. To preserve existing trees and other vegetation. To recognise vegetation protection areas as locations of special significance, natural beauty, interest and importance. To maintain and enhance habitat and habitat corridors for indigenous fauna. To encourage the regeneration of native vegetation.
Trees within an overlay
A permit is required to remove, destroy or lop any vegetation native to Australia in Beaumaris, Black Rock and parts of Cheltenham.
This does not apply to:
- The removal, destruction or lopping of vegetation which is less than 2 metres high or has a single trunk circumference of less than 0.5 metre at a height of 1 metre above ground level.
- The pruning of vegetation to remove that part of any branch which overhangs an existing dwelling or is within 2 metres of an existing dwelling.
Property protected by a planning permit
Generally, dwellings that are situated on land under 500 square metres and proposed to be constructed or extended are subject to planning approval. If your dwelling is one of two or more on the land, then any works or tree removal may require planning permission.
If your property is located within a vegetation protected area such as Beaumaris, Black Rock or parts of Cheltenham then planning permission is required to remove or lop any native tree to Australia.
For additional information about the planning process, please contact the Duty Planner on 9599 4444.
Trees not subject to an overlay
There are a number of other regulations that protect trees and vegetation throughout Bayside under planning controls and Council’s Local Law. For more information about which regulations may apply to you, visit our tree permit guide.
Trees on public land
Trees and vegetation on public land are protected by a number of regulations and cannot be cut or removed by members of the public.
You can nominate a tree on public land for our Significant Tree Register.
Frequently Asked Questions
A permit is not required if the work meets the following exemptions:
i) A permit is not required to prune a tree if the work is to be carried out by an arborist trained to AQF Level 3 in Arboriculture, or above, or equivalent recognised and relevant experience that enables them to perform the tasks required by Australian Standard No. 4373, 2007 Pruning of Amenity Trees. The contractor must certify his work, including photographs before and after work.
ii) In an emergency, any tree or part of a tree that is an immediate threat to life and or property may be removed.
iii) Any tree is exempt from protection if it is of a species which is a Victorian State Government declared noxious weed species as listed in Schedule 2 of Local Law No. 2.
Regular maintenance including the regular monitoring and care by a qualified arborist should ensure trees remain healthy and safe and any issues are identified early and remedied.