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Tree Preservation Orders

Tree Preservation Orders


Information about Tree Preservation Orders, trees in Conservation Areas and trees near property boundaries.

Under Section 198 of the Planning Act 1990, the Authority is empowered to make Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) to protect trees, groups of trees or woodlands that contribute to the amenity of an area.  There are around 110 Orders in the Borough.  These Orders prohibit the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage or wilful destruction of the trees, unless the trees are dead, dying or have become dangerous.

To find out if there is a Tree Preservation  Order affecting land in which you are interested, you can contact us by e-mail or by ringing 01229 876375.

Or alliteratively you can look at our online web mapping service for locations. The areas shown are not definitely legally only indicative.

Trees in a Conservation Area

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 makes a special provision for trees in conservation areas which are not the subject of a TPO.  Under Section 211, anyone proposing to cut down or carry out work on a tree in a Conservation Area is required to give the Local Planning Authority six weeks prior notice. 

The purpose of this requirement is to give the council an opportunity to consider whether a TPO should be made in respect of a tree.

All trees growing within conservation areas and having a stem diameter of more than 7.5cm at 1.3 metres above ground level are considered protected.

Penalties

Anyone who cuts down, uproots, tops, lops, wilfully destroys or wilfully damages a tree in a conservation area without giving a Section 211 notice is guilty of an offence.  The same applies for contravening a TPO.

Anyone who commits such an offence and is convicted in the Magistrates Court, is liable to a fine of up to £20,000.  Anyone who carries out work in a way that is not likely to destroy the tree is liable to a fine of up to £2,500.

Trees and Boundaries

There is nothing to prevent any person planting or growing a tree anywhere on his/ her property.  Neither are there any restrictions on the size to which he/ she may grow the tree.

Branches or roots that overhang or reach beyond a property boundary into another property may be removed by the owner of the property into which they enter.

This work may be done without notice but only if the tree is not within a Conservation Area and is not subject to a TPO.  This common right is invalidated if the tree concerned is subject to a TPO or lies within a conservation Area.

Advice on dealing with disputes about hedges (on the National Planning Portal).

Application forms

If you are planning to undertake work to trees covered by a preservation order or in a Conservation Area, you will need to complete the relevant forms or make an electronic application.