Enviromental and Conservation Agreements

Conservation Agreements

In order to protect the environmental values (flora and fauna, wetlands, ecosystems etc) existing on privately owned parcels of land without the complexities and expense of acquiring the land by compulsory resumption, various Government Authorities can prepare a Conservation Agreement between the Authority and the registered proprietor(s) of the subject land. These agreements were originally registered in the General Register of Deeds but are now registered as a dealing (using Form 13NP). An appropriate notification (ITS Code 'COAG') is then added to the second schedule of the affected Certificate(s) of Title.

The following statutory authorities currently prepare Conservation Agreements:

  • National Parks and Wildlife Service - (s.69F National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974)
  • Nature Conservation Authority - (s.36(2) Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001)

Plans Defining Conservation Agreements

A proposed conservation zone (as set out in the agreement) usually affects part of a parcel of land, with the remainder comprising the house, paddocks and other infrastructure that form  the 'living' and 'working' parts of the property. Consequently a plan is required to define that part of the parcel designated as being of high conservation value and which is to be subject to the agreement. The boundary between the areas of the 'conservation' and 'working' parts of the property is often irregular and poorly defined.

To determine the boundary the surveyor must either:

  • fully define the boundary by survey.  The plan should then be lodged in LPI as a deposited plan in the usual manner.

or

  • establish each corner of the boundary by a means acceptable to LPI (GPS measurement or similar technique) and list the resultant bearings and distances between the corners on a sketch plan annexed to the Agreement.

The use of a sketch plan to define the extent of a Conservation Agreement is a special concession by the Registrar General to avoid the impost of large survey fees on landowners who are voluntarily placing a restriction on their title for the good of the public.  However, there remains an onus on both LPI and the surveyor to ensure that the sketch plan provides an adequate definition of the land affected by the Agreement for all future title and property issues.

The sketch plan must:

  • be lodged as an annexure to a Conservation Agreement dealing (Form 13NP)
  • be prepared on 80 gsm white A4 paper
  • be prepared and signed by a registered surveyor (unless complying with standard LPI compiled plan guidelines – see Note 1 below)
  • clearly indicate the land to be subject to the conservation agreement
  • include a schedule setting out the bearings and distances for the boundaries of the voluntary conservation area
  • indicate the method by which the surveyor determined the extent of the land covered by the agreement – GPS co-ordinates, ground traverse etc.
  • indicate the accuracy of the survey – e.g. 'GPS Co-ordinates obtained by hand held receiver – Accuracy = ±5 metres” or “GPS Co-ordinates obtained by differential receivers – Accuracy = metres” – see Note 3 below
  • if necessary, connect the boundary to a corner of the parcel by bearings and distances
  • be mathematically correct – ie all parcels must close
  • disclose reference to all adjoining plans, and
  • be signed by all parties pursuant to s.195D Conveyancing Act 1919.

Note 1  If the boundaries of the agreement meet LPI compiled plan guidelines – i.e. the new boundaries are parallel or perpendicular to the boundaries of the existing parcel or comprise a straight line between measured points located on two parcel boundaries – the standard requirements for compiled plans will apply.  These plans will not need to be prepared by a registered surveyor.

Note 2  If the boundaries of the agreement are co-incident with established features eg. major roads, rivers/streams or railways that traverse the parcel, the feature may be adopted as part of the boundary of the agreement without the addition of further dimensions.

Note 3  National Parks and Wildlife have indicated that the accuracy of the agreement boundaries must be ±5 metres or better.

An example of a sketch is available to download Diagram of Conservation Area (PDF 293 KB).

Crown Lands NSW Environmental Protection Zones

Crown Title land and Torrens Title land subject to a Perpetual Lease (Conditional Purchase etc) can be converted to full Torrens Title for future sale to the person(s) occupying the land.  In many cases this conversion will necessitate the creation of an Environmental Protection Zone to protect the native flora and fauna existing on that parcel. 

The Environmental Protection Zone may be created affecting part of:

  • a parcel of existing Crown land intended to be transferred to (or vested in) a local council, statutory authority or private ownership.
  • an existing Crown boundary or reserved road that is subject to an enclosure permit and which is now intended to be closed and transferred to the adjoining landowner (see Paragraph 2.2 below)
  • an existing Torrens Title parcel that is subject to reservations and/or conditions specified in a Crown Conditional Purchase etc

or

  • an existing Crown Leasehold Torrens Title.

The terms and details of the Environmental Protection Zone are set out in either:

  • a Restriction on the Use of Land or a Positive Covenant included in a Section 88B Instrument lodged with a deposited plan.
  • an appropriate Restriction on the Use of Land dealing (using Form 13RPA) lodged for registration together with Crown First Title (CL45-11) documentation, with an annexed sketch plan defining the boundaries of the zone (land that currently remains Crown Title)
  • an appropriate Restriction on the Use of Land dealing (using Form 13RPA) with an annexed sketch plan defining the boundaries of the zone (land comprised in an existing Torrens title)

Plan Requirements

The plan defining the extent of the Environmental Protection Zone must be one of the following depending upon the required accuracy of the definition of the boundaries of the zone.  Situations where the position of the boundary of the zone is of higher importance (eg where areas of high conservation value closely adjoin areas of high human development) will require a higher order of survey accuracy.  

a) Deposited Plan of Survey

The boundaries of the conservation zone must be fully surveyed to the standard prescribed in the Surveyors (Practice) Regulation 2006.  The usual requirements for the preparation of a deposited plan will apply.

b) Deposited Plan of Compilation

A deposited plan of compilation will be acceptable if the boundaries of the proposed conservation zone meet LPI Guidelines for compiled plans – i.e. the new boundaries are parallel or perpendicular to the parcel boundaries or the new boundary is a straight line between confirmed points on two parcel boundaries.  The usual requirements for a compiled deposited plan will apply.

c) Sketch plan annexed to a dealing

In order to define the site of the Environmental Protection Zone it will be necessary to prepare a sketch plan as an annexure to the dealing.

The sketch plan must:

  • be lodged as an annexure to a Restriction on the Use of Land dealing.  Where the parcel is currently Crown Title the Restriction should be lodged in conjunction with the CL45-11 (Crown First Title) documentation.
  • be prepared on 80 gsm white A4 paper
  • be signed by an authorised officer of Crown Lands NSW, together with a date and file reference.
  • clearly indicate the land to be subject to the Environmental Protection Zone
  • include a schedule of co-ordinates (easting and northing) for each corner of the Environmental Protection Zone.  These co-ordinates may be obtained by GPS measurement, rectified aerial photogrammetry or other method approved by LPI
  • indicate the capture method, accuracy and MGA Zone of the co-ordinates
  • include an approximate area for the part affected by the Protection Zone, a north point and any relevant adjoining information (including road and waterway names)
  • indicate that the sketch plan is “Not to Scale”
  • provide an approximate connection from the boundary of the Environmental Protection Zone to a corner of the parcel, and
  • be signed by all parties pursuant to s.195D Conveyancing Act 1919.

Note  Any future subdivision boundary that will be co-incident with the boundary of the Environment Protection Zone as shown in the sketch plan must be defined in a plan of survey.

An example of an Environmental Protection Zone sketch is available to download Diagram A - Covenant affecting Lots 48 & 78 DP 754828 (PDF 184 KB)

Crown Road Enclosure Plan

An Environmental Protection Zone may also be created with the conversion of a Crown Road Enclosure Permit.  These pieces of unnecessary Crown Road are defined in a plan derived from the cadastral pattern shown in the CRV with the addition of lot numbers, areas, adjoining parcel information and road and river names.  The plan is prepared in the local Lands Office and forwarded to LPI for registration together with the required documentation to close the road and issue a Crown First Title.  Any Environmental Protection Zone affecting the new lot(s) will be created as a Restriction on the Use of Land and/or Positive Covenant by means of a Section 88B Instrument lodged with the Crown Road Enclosure plan.

The proposed Protection Zone must affect the entirety of the new lot(s) with appropriate terms set out in Part 2 of the Instrument.  Included in the terms will be reference as to whether the site affects the whole or some part of the new lot(s).

Note If it is intended that the Protection Zone is to affect only part of a new lot (and the new notification in the certificate of title is to be referred to “as affecting part”), it will be necessary to define the boundary of the zone in a plan of survey.

Property Vegetation Plan

The Minister administering the Native Vegetation Act 2003 can pursuant to Section 31 direct that a Property Vegetation Plan (PVP) be prepared setting out those areas of the property that may be subject to a restriction as regards the clearing, thinning and/or re-growth of native vegetation. An abstract of the PVP (plus any sketch setting out the areas subject to it’s effect) is lodged in LPI as a dealing (Form 13VP) and endorsed on the relevant folio(s) of the Register.

Plan Requirements

A Property Vegetation Plan can be registered as affecting part of a parcel(s) of land in the same manner as a Conservation Agreement. The affected part(s) must be set out in a sketch plan that complies with the following:

  • be lodged as an annexure to a Property Vegetation Plan dealing (Form13VP) 
  • be prepared on 80 gsm white A4 paper
  • be signed by a delegate of the Minister administering the Native Vegetation Act 2003, together with a date and file reference.
  • clearly indicate the lands to be subject to each land use specified in the terms of the PVP
  • include a schedule of co-ordinates (easting and northing) for each corner of the affected lands. These co-ordinates may be obtained by GPS measurement, rectified aerial photogrammetry or other method approved by LPMA
  • indicate the capture method, accuracy and MGA Zone of the co-ordinates
  • include an approximate area for each part affected, a north point and any relevant adjoining information (including road and waterway names)
  • indicate that the sketch plan is “Not to Scale”
  • provide an approximate connection from the boundary of the affected part(s) to a corner of the parcel, and
  • be signed by all parties pursuant to s.195D Conveyancing Act 1919.