Local Authorities

Tree Preservation Orders


Central government advises Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to keep their Tree Preservation Orders under review and ensure that they are brought up-to-date when necessary. There are a number of reasons why Tree Preservation Orders should be reviewed and updated:

  • Central government has proposed changes to legislation to render invalid all ‘Area’ Tree Preservation Orders. It is unlikely that this will happen in the near future but as many large and important areas of most local authorities are protected only by ‘Area’ orders, a review of all ‘Area’ orders is a priority
  • Changes to Tree Preservation Order legislation over the years means that slightly different rules apply to Tree Preservation Orders created by different model orders
  • Over 45 years an area can change considerably and Tree Preservation Orders need to reflect current land ownerships. For example, where new housing has been built in former woodland, and where a general ‘Woodland’ Tree Preservation Order does not relate to the new development this needs to be re-examined
  • There are longstanding problems with some Tree Preservation Order records. Some may not be enforceable

Many Local Authorities suffer from large area TPOs made in the 1950s. This can lead to:


  1. Inaccurate and/or lack of documentation resulting in the Order being possibly invalid
    The need to ensure that the information contained on the Council’s register of TPOs is accurate. This applies to most ‘Area’ designations and only trees present when the order was made are protected.
    Each individual property will have to be visited and trees surveyed as Ts and Gs.
  1. TPO’s made pre-1976
    The regulations relating to Orders made prior to 1976 did not include for “Wilful Damage” as a contravention.

Peter Scott is able to undertake TPO review on an area by area basis.