Tree Preservation Orders
The Local Borough or District Council is responsible for the making and enforcing of Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). TPOs may be used to protect trees, groups of trees or woodlands, which add to the character and appearance of an area. A TPO provides protection for those trees specified in the order and makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot or willfully damage or destroy a tree, or permit these actions, without first seeking the Council’s consent to do so.
The Council may make a TPO for the purpose of:
- Protecting important trees or groups of trees, which are under threat
- Strengthening a planning condition for the protection of existing trees or trees to be planted as a requirement of a planning condition
- Protecting trees, considered to be of special value in a particular area, even though there is no direct threat to them
- Protecting a woodland area by securing the replanting of trees, which have been felled
The Council may give notice of its intention to make a TPO to the owner and occupiers of the land, who have 28 days from the date of notice in which to comment. Any comments received, will be taken into account and a decision reached on whether or not the order should be confirmed. The order does not take effect until it has been confirmed by the Council.
Alternatively, and more commonly, the Council may make an emergency TPO, which takes effect immediately on the date specified, providing protection for the specified trees. An emergency TPO may be used in situations where the Council considers the existence of the trees to be under immediate threat. Comments may still be made within 28 days from the date of notice and will be taken into account before the Council decides if the TPO is to be confirmed. An emergency TPO must however, be confirmed within 6 months of the date of the order, otherwise the protection afforded to the trees expires.
If you wish to cut down or carry out works to protected trees, you must first seek the Council’s consent to do so. An application for consent must be made in writing to your Local Planning Authority, specifying the trees, the work you want to carry out and why. Peter Scott can provide the specialist information required to validate such an application and monitor the decision making of the Council. If an application has been refused see the section on the appeals procedure.