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Tree preservation

Any tree within a designated conservation area that is above a certain size is automatically protected. Some trees may be protected by conditions attached to planning consents or deed of covenant on land. However, the most effective method of tree protection is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any tree specified in the order without our written consent.

In addition, any species, size or age of tree can be protected by a TPO, as long as it meets the criteria set down in law. However bushes, shrubs or hedges cannot be protected by a TPO.  Rural hedgerows are dealt with by separate legislation, The Hedgerow Regulations 1997.

The decision to serve a TPO is made after the trees have been assessed.  Although a major consideration when assessing a new TPO is amenity value, other factors such as health and suitability for the location are taken into consideration when deciding whether to serve an order.  If all the necessary criteria are met an order may be served.

Once a TPO is served, the tree does not become the responsibility of the Council.

A TPO does not stop works that need to be carried out to a tree. However, permission should be sought first.

At present there are approximately 400 Tree Preservation Orders in the district. Our TPO records are only currently available in paper format. If you would like to know if your tree is protected by a TPO please contact us providing your full address and contact details.

Further information is available:

Protected trees – A guide to tree preservation procedures

Tree Preservation Orders: A guide to the law and good practice

The Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation)(England) Regulations 2012