Make an Application
Applications for the clearing of native vegetation on freehold or crown land are assessed under the Planning Act and must be lodged online with the Development One Stop Shop. For assistance in lodging an application call Development Assessment Services with the Department of Lands, Planning and Environment on 8999 6046. Applications for pastoral leases are assessed under the Pastoral Land Act using a Pastoral Land Application Form.
Freehold and crown land clearing applications must include the owners’ authorisation, a detailed statement describing the effect of the proposed development, and a scaled drawing of the proposed clearing area. To assist in meeting the latter two requirements a Native Vegetation Clearing and Property Development Plan template has been developed. Using this template is not compulsory but if you complete and include this with your application you will have addressed the requirements set out under section 46 of the Planning Act. For assistance in completing the template, call DLRM Rangelands Division on 8999 3631.
All freehold native vegetation clearing applications have a public notification period of 14 days during which time a 'pink' planning notice must be erected at your property. Applications are exhibited on the internet and a notice placed in the local newspaper during which time the public is invited to make a written submission on any areas of concern. Applications can also be viewed at the nearest regional office of the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment or the Department of Land Resource Management.
Freehold applications for zoned land (which includes all of Litchfield Shire) are assessed by the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment and determined by the relevant Development Consent Authority. Applications for clearing outside planning control areas (i.e. no zone or “unzoned” areas) are assessed by the Department of Land Resource Management and determined by the delegate of the Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment.
A flow chart describing the assessment process for unzoned land applications is available here. Once unzoned applications have been received by DLRM, they are distributed to various Northern Territory Government service authorities and where relevant, the local council. Service authorities provide their responses to the consent authority to consider in their final assessment and deliberation.
Applications are reviewed by the Native Vegetation Assessment Panel (NVAP) which consists of senior officers with expertise in water management, biodiversity conservation, land resource assessment, and primary industries. Recommendations are made to the delegate of the Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment to issue a notice of consent or refusal in accordance with the Planning Act.
Clearing of Native Vegetation Development Permits
Section 53 of the Planning Act allows for the consent authority to either, approve, alter and approve or refuse an application for the clearing of native vegetation. Where a permit is issued, the applicant and any person who made a submission will receive a notice of consent which includes the determination, the reasons for the determination and particulars about the right of appeal.
A clearing of native vegetation permit includes a schedule of conditions and an endorsed scaled drawing which indicates those areas permitted for clearing. Clearing of native vegetation development permits allow for a base period of two years to comply with the conditions. Where the works permitted under the permit are substantially commenced within two years the permit is automatically extended by a further two years. Permit holders may apply for extensions to a development permit before the permit lapses.
A register of approved clearing determinations made under the Clearing of Native Vegetation development provisions is also available.
The Act allows for an applicant for a development permit to appeal the decision of the consent authority. An appeal may be made in relation to:
- a refusal to grant a permit;
- an extension to the period of a permit;
- specific condition of a development permit; or
- a service authority’s refusal to refund or remit a developer contribution.
A right of appeal also exists if the consent authority has not determined a development application within 12 weeks of its lodgement. The appeal provisions are contained in the Lands and Mining Tribunal Act 1998. Third party appeals only exist in certain circumstances and generally only apply to land within a residential zone. There are no third party rights of appeal to a clearing of native vegetation determination. More detailed information on the Planning Act can be found at the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment website.
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