If people wish to burn vegetation in a residential area they will need to apply to Council for approval through Council’s written application form and pay the associated fee as specified in Council’s fees and charges. An application must be made 21 days prior to the proposed date of burning.
Council officers will assess the application in accordance with the POEO Clean Air Regulation 2002 (NSW), taking the following matters into consideration:
- the impact on regional air quality and amenity
- the impact on local air quality and amenity
- the feasibility of re-use, recycling or other alternative means of disposal
- any opinions of the sector of the public likely to be affected by the proposal approved.
Once all this is considered Council will advise the applicant in writing if they are permitted to burn. A fire permit will also need to be obtained from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) prior to lighting a fire on land within the FRNSW's Fire District.
It should be noted that generally in residential areas other methods of disposing of vegetation are available therefore burning will only be permitted as a last resort.
An approval from Council to burn does not negate the requirement to apply for an open air burning permit from the Rural Fire Service during the Bush Fire Danger period or from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) where applicable. Contact your local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre or Fire & Rescue NSW Station to obtain a fire permit.
Exemptions from Council Approval:
An approval to burn from Coffs Harbour City Council is not required for the following activities:
- Lighting a fire for cooking, recreation such as camping, picnicking and for fire fighting instruction.
- Burning of vegetation for carrying out agricultural operations or
- Lighting a fire for the purposes for instruction of methods of fire fighting
- Bushfire hazard reduction work under the Rural Fires Act 1997 (NSW) (i.e. hazard reduction work with a hazard reduction certificate issued by the Rural Fire Service)