Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) and Conservation Areas (CA) applications, information and advice

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) are served to protect trees which are considered to have significant public amenity. Local Planning Authorities (LPA) can serve a TPO when considered expedient, but to do so there must be a tangible threat to the tree(s). Most LPA’s measure the tree and it’s amenity value against a set criteria to determine whether the tree is worthy of a TPO, and takes into consideration a number of factors such as form, species and historical value. A TPO is served on the owners / occupiers of the land on which the tree stands / overhangs, and interested any parties. There is then a 28 day period in which to object to the TPO, and if a sufficient number of objections are not withdrawn the fate of the TPO will be considered by the Council’s Members Committee, where the objectors have an opportunity to voice their concerns. Once served the TPO must be ‘Confirmed’ within 6 months or it becomes unenforceable.

When ‘Confirmed’ an application for any proposed works to the tree or it’s roots must be made to the LPA, to be determined within 8 weeks. In some circumstances the LPA will require technical justification for works in the form of a tree report to be submitted prior to determination. There is an appeal process if the LPA refuses consent for works.

Conservation Areas (CA) are placed primarily to protect buildings, but they also protect trees within their boundaries. To carry out tree works within a CA, a ‘Notification’ of proposed tree works must be submitted to the LPA, who then have 6 weeks in which to determine it prior to any works being carried out. The LPA must choose whether to allow the works or serve a TPO to restrict the works.

Statutory tree protection can be complicated and rather daunting. Having worked as a Tree Officer for many years, Jason Trewinnard, has vast experience in this area and can offer advice or act on your behalf for issues with trees in Conservation Areas and all aspects of the TPO process from objections through to applications and appeals.