We have provided all the information below to help our customers, we can complete all the necessary forms on your behalf.
We will always check if you fit into one of the below categories below before we start any work on your tree(s).
A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in Great Britain to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An Order prohibits the:
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’, 6 weeks before carrying out certain work on such trees, unless an exception applies.
The work may go ahead before the end of the 6 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.
Courts have powers to fine anyone contravening the tree regulations laid down in part 8 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This includes penalties for cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilfully destroying or damaging protected trees.
If you deliberately destroy a protected tree, or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in the magistrates' court.
In determining the amount of the fine, the court will take account of any financial benefit arising from the offence.
For other offences including working on the tree without permission you could be fined up to £2,500.
There is also a duty to replace any protected tree that has been removed illegally, the new tree being automatically protected by the original order. Should the replacement tree die a further replacement would then be required ... and so on ...
If you apply to the Forestry Commission for a felling licence within a SSSI, you’ll need Natural England’s consent. This is for operations not described in the licence, such as where vehicles cross the SSSI to get to the felling location.
Read the guidance on how to get Natural England’s consent for work in SSSIs.