Tree preservation orders (TPOs) are commonly used by councils to protect certain trees within their area of authority found on someone else’s land. If they wish to protect a tree, the council can send a TPO to the landowner and explain the reason for making the order – the landowner has the right to comment.
If a tree is protected via a TPO, the council must consent before any work can be carried out on the tree. Landowners have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State within 28 days if they have a planning permission application refused due to reasons relating to a TPO.
Applications concerning protected trees are handled differently to standard planning permission, with one major change being that these applications can be made without a fee. However, they still require the inclusion of paperwork such as the appropriate forms and a diagram outlining the trees you wish to work on. As with standard planning applications your application will be advertised by the council. However, neighbours will only be notified on a case-on-case basis.
The Arboricultural officer at the council responsible for your application may wish to visit the site in question to gain a better understanding of your application and the tree(s) that will be affected. The standard 8 week time target applies to applications to work on protected trees.
If you are looking to remove a protected tree entirely, you will need ta report from a qualified arboriculturist to support your application.
WHEN CAN A TREE BE WORKED ON?
Wilfully cutting, uprooting, damaging or destroying a protected tree without the council’s permission is a criminal offence. However, certain exceptions to this law apply. These are:
Previously, the exception in the legislation also applied to the felling of dying trees. However, since 2012 this is no longer an exception unless the tree presents an urgent, serious safety risk i.e. “an immediate risk of serious harm”.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
If you’d like to discuss your project with us, take a browse of our current schemes for inspiration and get in touch through our contact form or, alternatively, why not give us a call on 01260 540 170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more details.