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With the increasing density of housing being developed along our beautiful Sydney harbourside and the waterways of outer Sydney areas, the fight for “views” or “glimpses” of water are escalating, as these views are considered to enhance the value of a property. However the access to a view can come at the expense of privacy for a neighbour, and trees are a common means of screening our properties from the prying eyes of others. So what are the rules regarding views and trees?
The NSW government introduced the Trees (Disputes between Neighbours) Act in 2006 to deal specifically with the fight between neighbours over trees blocking views and access to sunlight. The Act is presented in a way that allows neighbours to sort it out without the need for lawyers to be involved.
The general rule is that trees may be planted after a new dwelling has been constructed if they do not block views and sunlight and do not exceed a height of 2.5 metres.
There are other considerations, however to be taken into account before a Court will make an order for trees to be trimmed or removed, and the long list of considerations is provided for in s.14F of the Act.