Page Navigation

Vegetation clearing under the Planning Scheme

Printable version

This information sheet provides a summary of planning scheme requirements for vegetation clearing work in the Somerset Region. Other approvals may be required from the State and/or Federal governments.

When will planning approval be required?

Vegetation clearing may require planning approval unless the clearing activity is an exempt activity, and/or does not involve a relevant Planning Scheme overlay.

What are exemptions?

Vegetation clearing may be exempt under the planning scheme where it is:

  • removal of vegetation that is not native vegetation; or
  • essential management or routine management as defined and permitted by the Planning Regulation 2017; or
  • a forest practice as defined by the Planning Regulation 2017.

What Planning Scheme Overlays are applicable?

Vegetation clearing activities may be constrained where:

  • in a protected area, wildlife habitat, regulated vegetation, legally secured offset area, biodiversity corridor, bushland koala habitat area, or wetland buffer area identified on Biodiversity Areas Overlay Maps OM-003a-f; or
  • in a waterbody or watercourse buffer area identified on Catchment Management Overlay Maps OM-005a-b; or
  • in a landslide hazard area identified on Landslide Hazard Overlay Maps OM010a-b; or
  • in a local heritage place identified on Local Heritage Register Overlay Maps OM-011a-d; or
  • in a high scenic amenity area or scenic route section buffer area identified on Scenic Amenity Overlay Map OM-012a-b.


NB: To check if any of the above overlays affect your land, you can do a property search on Council’s eServices, consult the planning scheme maps on Council’s website or phone Council on (07) 5424 4000.  

All proposed clearing activity should be outlined to Council prior to any clearing taking place. Council will either confirm a vegetation clearing exemption for the activity to proceed, or provide guidance on any required planning approvals to permit the clearing activity.

What are the requirements for an application?

If vegetation clearing is not exempt, prior to clearing you will need to get a planning approval for operational works. As part of an application you will need to demonstrate compliance with:

  • the Services, works and infrastructure code (Table;
  • the relevant zone code (Rural zone code and Township zone code etc); and
  • any relevant overlay code.

Only the following overlay codes may apply to operational works applications for vegetation clearing:

  • Biodiversity overlay code;
  • Catchment management overlay code;
  • Landslide hazard overlay code;
  • Local heritage overlay code; or
  • Scenic amenity overlay code.


NB: To check if any of the above overlays affect your land, you can do a property search on Council’s eServices, consult the planning scheme maps on Council’s website or phone Council on (07) 5424 4000.  

What are the application fees?

Fees are detailed in Council's Schedule of Fees and Charges.

What forms will be required?

To lodge an application to clear your property you will need the following:

DA form 1 - Development application details

State and Federal Legislation

Vegetation clearing within the Somerset Region may also be regulated by the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Qld), Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) and/or the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). You should contact the following government departments before clearing any native vegetation:


Department of Natural Resources and Mines (Vegetation Management Act 1999)
Phone: 13 74 68

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (Nature Conservation Act 1992)
Phone: 13 74 68


Department of Environment (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)
Phone: 1800 803 772

Definitions used in this information sheet

Words which appear in italics have specific meanings as defined in Tables SC 1.1.2 and SC1.2.2 of the planning scheme.

For more information?

For more information, including the full details of the planning scheme codes and use or administrative definitions, please refer to the Somerset Region Planning Scheme Version Two on Council’s website. The Somerset Region Planning Scheme User Guide and the Making an application information sheet also provide additional information which may assist you. Alternatively, feel free to contact Council by phoning (07) 5424 4000 or emailing your enquiry to