It is possible to access private property through a State forest, either through a practical access agreement or a legal access agreement.
A practical access agreement is more common than a legal access agreement.
Practical access is use of a forest road but:
- Does not imply legal access.
- Bears no impediment to Forestry Corporation of NSW or State forest users.
- Implies no maintenance by Forestry Corporation above Forestry Corporation requirements. However, if you wish to carry out maintenance, you need prior permission from Forestry Corporation and it is at your expense.
- Is not an encumbrance on Forestry Corporation.
Practical access does not require a plan or a survey but will be indicated by way of a map and descriptive letter of authority.
Practical access can be granted by way of a letter of consent from the Senior Land Administrator or Senior Manager, Forest Stewardship.
You can apply for practical access through a practical access application. It is a one-off application and fee, but must be renewed if you sell your land.
For the typical conditions of a practical access agreement, please see an example practical access authority letter.
Legal access (Legal Right of Carriageway or Easement)
Forestry Corporation will generally not grant legal access over forest roads within a State forest, unless you can demonstrate that:
- It is of mutual benefit to Forestry Corporation in gaining legal access through private property.
- The outcome would benefit an essential 'Public Purpose' – as defined in the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 and Forestry Corporation has determined that it wants continued ownership and control of that road.
- That there is no possible alternative access.
There are a number of exceptions under which we may consider granting of legal access:
- If we consider that the dedication of a State forest has restricted a previously existing right-of-way, then legal access could be considered, unless alternative access exists.
- If there is an existing route that is the only route to a private property, or has been traditional access as a ‘track in use’, then granting legal access could be considered.
- If the private property is completely ‘land-locked’ by State forest, then legal access should be considered unless practical access is available.
All applications for practical access, whether approved or not, will incur an administrative fee of $320.00 (ex GST).
For legal access applications that are granted, a fee of $5,500.00 (ex GST) will be charged. The $5,500.00 legal access fee is only payable after Ministerial approval of the legal access has been granted. On payment of the fee, Forestry Corporation will release the approved legal papers to the applicant.
Your legal access application should address how your application meets the exceptions/requirements listed above.