TPO (Tree Preservation Order) & Conservation area trees
RWC offer a comprehensive application service to carry out work to your protected trees. This includes a free consultation and quotation, OS map with tree location, illustrated photography, all communication and meetings with your area officer if required, and subsequent compliant work carried out to BS3998. Our application service is completely free of charge if RWC are appointed to carry out the work granted by your local authority.
If an alternative contractor is appointed to complete tree surgery work which we obtain permission for, an admin fee will apply. Please note that it can take up to 8 weeks for a decision notice, and we will need to respect and account for other delays such as nesting birds.
A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in England to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An Order prohibits cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage and wilful destruction of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent.
If consent is given, it can be subject to conditions which have to be followed. In the Secretary of State’s view, cutting roots is also a prohibited activity and requires the authority’s consent.
Owners of protected trees must not carry out, or cause or permit the carrying out of, any of the prohibited activities without the written consent of the local authority. As with owners of unprotected trees, they are responsible for maintaining their trees, with no statutory rules setting out how often or to what standard. The local planning authority cannot require maintenance work to be done to a tree just because it is protected.
However, the authority can encourage good tree management, particularly when determining applications for consent under a Tree Preservation Order. This will help to maintain and enhance the amenity provided by protected trees.
Arboricultural advice from competent contractors and consultants, or the authority, will help to inform tree owners of their responsibilities and options. It is important that trees are inspected regularly and necessary maintenance carried out to make sure they remain safe and healthy.
Trees in a conservation area that are not protected by an Order are protected by the provisions in section 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. These provisions require people to notify the local planning authority, using a ‘section 211 notice’, six weeks before carrying out certain work on such trees, unless an exception applies. The work may go ahead before the end of the six week period if the local planning authority gives consent. This notice period gives the authority an opportunity to consider whether to make an Order on the tree. The Crown must give six weeks’ notice for works to trees in a conservation area, unless an exception applies or the local planning authority has given consent.
Where work is carried out on a regular basis, the local authority and the appropriate authority of the Crown should consider following the guidance here.
FAILURE TO OBTAIN PERMISION CAN RESULT IN A FINE OF UP TO £20,000 AND PROSECUTION