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Control of Burning

 

What areas of Coffs Harbour Local Government Area is burning of vegetation permitted?

What areas of Coffs Harbour LGA is burning of vegetation prohibited?

How do I apply for approval?

How can I burn safely?

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

 

 

What areas of Coffs Harbour Local Government Area is burning of vegetation permitted?

Burning is only permitted in rural and large lot residential zones (zones RU2 and R5), subject to requirements of the Rural Fires Act and Regulations. All other zonings will require approval from Council.

What areas of Coffs Harbour LGA is burning of vegetation prohibited?

The Protection of the Environment Operations (POEO) (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 (NSW) lists Coffs Harbour City Council in Part 2 and 3 of Schedule 8 of the Regulation, which prohibits backyard burning in residential areas across the local government area without approval. This includes all zonings as shown in the table below.
 

​R1

​General Residential Zone

​R2

​Low Density Residential Zone

​R3

​Medium Density Residential Zone

​R4

​High Density Residential Zone

​B1

​Neighbourhood Centre Zone

​B2

​Local Centre Zone

​B3

​Commerical Core Zone

​B4

​Mixed Use Zone

​B5

​Business Development Zone

​B6

​Enterprise Corridor Zone

​IN1

​​General Industrial Zone

​IN3

​Heavy Industrial Zone

​SP3

​Tourist Zone

 

Use Council's Online Mapping Tool to check the zonings of any land within the LGA.

How do I apply for approval?

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.

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. 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:

  1. Lighting a fire for cooking, recreation such as camping, picnicking and for fire fighting instruction.
  2. Burning of vegetation for carrying out agricultural operations or
  3. Lighting a fire for the purposes for instruction of methods of fire fighting
  4. 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)

How can I burn safely?

A person who burns vegetation in the open must do so by such practicable means as are necessary to prevent or minimise air pollution. Methods in preventing or minimising air pollution may include the following:

(a) taking into account the potential for smoke impacting on any person having regard to:

(i) wind direction,

(ii) weather conditions,

(iii) the length of time that the material being burnt is likely to burn,

(b) taking reasonable measures to ensure that the material being burnt is not wet,

(c) burning only material that is suitable for disposal by burning, having regard to possible effects on human health and the environment.

It is a legislative requirement to provide a minimum of 24 hours' notice (unless specified otherwise in your Fire Permit) to your local fire authority (Rural Fire Service or Fire & Rescue NSW), and all adjoining landowners or occupiers before undertaking any burning of vegetation.

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

Under Part 2 of Schedule 8, Penalty Infringement Notices can be issued to individuals ($500) and/or corporations ($1000) who burn vegetation in the open without approval.

Under Part 3 of Schedule 8, Penalty Infringement Notices can be issued to individuals ($500) and/or corporations ($1000) who burn anything in the open without approval.

Under the POEO Clean Air Regulation there is a maximum penalty fine of 50 penalty units for an individual and 100 penalty units for a corporation for breaches of the regulation (a penalty unit is currently $110 per unit i.e. $5,500 for an individual and $11,000 for a corporation).