Tree Planting and Retention On-Site

Council's Local Planning Policy 39 outlines the requirements for the provision of planting and retention of trees on private land and the associated street verge with the development of land in the Town of Victoria Park. 

This policy aims to deliver outcomes consistent with the Town’s Urban Forest Strategy and Strategic Community Plan. The intent of the policy is to increase tree density and canopy cover to benefit residents and the Town’s urban ecosystems.

Why Do We Need This Policy?

The Town has one of the lowest tree canopy covers within the Perth metropolitan region, covering approximately 10% of the Town’s area of jurisdiction. 

The tree planting and retention policy is a supported action outlined within the adopted Urban Forest Strategy and aligns with our goal of increasing vegetation and tree canopy coverage to 20%. 

Planting in reserves and public spaces form only part of the solution for the Town to reach its goal of 20% tree canopy cover. Planting on private land is also integral to reach this goal. 

Will This Mean the Council Decides What Trees I Can and Can’t Cut Down on My Property?

No, this is not a local law. The proposed policy would only apply to development (planning) applications and incentivises the retention of existing trees rather than mandating their retention. 

What Development Applications Would the Policy Affect?

For residential development: non-compliant single houses, and grouped dwellings 

For commercial/industrial development: new non-residential development or additions to a non-residential development which increase the existing net floor area and with a value exceeding $200,000 or non-residential development which proposes the removal of existing mature trees on site. 

Any application proposing the removal of a tree worthy of retention. 

How many trees do I have to propose to plant for my new houses?

In regards to residential development, two factors need to be considered. Firstly, how many existing ‘trees worthy of retention’ are proposed to be removed/retained and secondly how many new dwellings are proposed. 

Example 1: 

Three new dwellings on a site – one medium tree is to be planted on the lot of each dwelling i.e. three medium trees required. 

Example 1 - LPP39

Example 2: 

Four ‘trees worthy of retention’ are proposed to be removed as part of a development application for two dwellings. In this instance, four medium trees are required to be planted. 

 Example 2a - LPP39

Example 2b - LPP39

Example 3: 

Existing house retained and one new dwelling constructed behind. One medium tree is to be planted on the lot of the existing house, and one medium tree is to be planted on the lot of the new dwelling at the rear. 

 Example 3 - LPP39

Example 4 (tree concessions): 

Three new dwellings on a site – if one tree worthy of retention is retained, then only one new medium tree required i.e. total of two trees across the site; or 

 Example 4a - LPP39

Three new dwellings on a site – if one large tree is proposed, then only one additional medium tree required i.e. total of two trees across the site. 

Example 4b - LPP39

Note - The amount of trees required is generally the greater of the number of new dwellings proposed or the number of ‘trees worthy of retention’ removed. This may be able to be reduced where trees are retained or larger new trees are planted.

How Many Trees Do I Need to Plant if I’m Only Undertaking Additions to My House?

In the instance where a development application is required for a residential addition/alteration, new trees are only required to be planted if a ‘tree worthy of retention’ is to be removed. Where applicable, one new tree is to be planted for every ‘tree worthy of retention’ that is removed. 

What Species of Tree Should I Plant?

The Town has prepared a Preferred Tree Species List to assist developers, builders and homeowners with selection of trees that may be suitable for planting within private property, in accordance with the Town of Victoria Park Local Planning Policy 39 Tree Planting and Retention. 

What About Applicable Commercial/Industrial Development?

The policy also applies to any new nonresidential development or additions to a non-residential development which increase the existing net floor area and with a value exceeding $200,000. 

For non-residential development, the rate of trees to be provided will either be based on the lot size or the number of ‘trees worthy of retention’ to be removed. Typically one medium tree is required for every 300m2 of lot area. 

For example, a new office (non-residential) building on a lot of 1,000m2 with no existing ‘tree worthy of retention’ on site would require three medium trees. More trees may be required depending on the number of car parking bays proposed. This policy is to be read in conjunction with LPP 23 – Car Parking. The greater amount of trees required under either policy will be the amount of trees to be provided. Trees planted as part of LPP 23 are credited to satisfying the requirements of this policy. 

However, In instances where ‘trees worthy of retention’ are to be removed as part of an application for an office (non-residential) building on a lot of 1,000m2, one medium tree shall be planted for every ‘tree worthy of retention’ to be removed. If six ‘trees worthy of retention’ are to be removed then six new medium trees must be accommodate on site. 

Note - The policy does not apply to development applications involving a change of use or internal works. 

Note - This information sheet provides a summary of the policy. Landowners and applicants should refer to and rely upon the policy for the specific policy provisions.  

Related Information 

Local Planning Policy 39 - Tree Planting and Retention

Preferred Tree Species List

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