Obstructing vegetation: Your responsibilities

Published on 06 April 2022

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Ensuring footpaths, roads and open spaces are accessible and free from overgrown vegetation and overhanging branches makes the Pyrenees Shire a better place to live.

Maintaining thoroughfares for access is particularly important for people like parents with prams, older people or people with a disability. An obstruction from a private property can include overhanging branches or vegetation. Obstructions can also create unsafe situations on our roads including blocking visibility and creating a hazard which could damage passing vehicles.

Local Law

The local law requires property owners or occupiers to ensure their land is free from any obstructions that may impact or create a safety issue for any public space like roads and footpaths. More specifically the local law states that trees and other vegetation that encroaches onto or over the street from private property cannot impact the footpath at ground level and must be at least two metres high. If Council officers are informed about or discover an obstruction from a property, an investigation will be undertaken. If the property is found to have an obstruction, Council will then issue the owner or occupy with a Notice To Comply (this notice will outline what the obstruction is and a date that it needs to be removed). If the issue is not fixed by the nominated date or alternative arrangements made, Council may, for safety reasons, organise works to remove the obstruction at the property owner's expense.

Overhanging trees from your neighbour’s property

Council does not have the authority to deal with vegetation overhanging from your neighbour’s property onto your property. Disputes between neighbours about trees are covered by common law and are best resolved by talking directly to your neighbour.

If talking to your neighbour is unsuccessful, you can contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (1300 372 888). This is a free service and can help you resolve your dispute without having to take legal action.