Tree works application

The Local Planning Authority is responsible for the legal controls involved in the management of trees that are formally protected by Tree Preservation Orders, Conservation Areas and trees protected by Planning Conditions throughout the Borough.

Legislation provides formal protection to trees located on private land within the Borough. This protection can take the form of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) which can provide protection to individual trees, groups, areas of trees and woodlands. Trees located within Conservation areas and trees protected by planning conditions

Trees that are subject to formal protection will require formal application to and consent from the Local Planning Authority before any pruning or felling works are undertaken.

Some pruning and felling works are considered exempt from the legislation, these works should be checked and agreed by the Council’s Tree Officer prior to being undertaken.

But these works will normally only involve the felling of dead trees and the removal of deadwood from living trees. The onus is placed upon the tree owner or the tree contractor to prove that the works to protected trees are exempt.

Advice for private tree owners

  • always contact the Local Authority to ensure that the trees are not protected by a Tree Protection Order, planning constraints, that they are not protected because within a Conservation Area, or that Planning Conditions do not apply.
  • always employ a suitable trained professional Tree Surgeon (Arborists), who should be fully covered by the necessary insurance, including Employers and Public Liability Insurance. (Please request proof of cover).
  • never employ house callers or leaflet droppers claiming to be professional tree surgeons.
  • reputable Tree Surgeons (Arborists) will always have some form of professional identification and qualification proof. Always ask to see it.

Reputable Tree Surgeons can be found in the Directory of Registered Consultants and Approved Contractors produced by The Arboricultural Association who can be contacted

What are the penalties for undertaking works to the tree without consent?

Section 210(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990  provides that anyone found guilty of unauthorised works to a protected tree is liable, if convicted in the magistrates’ court, to a fine of up to £20,000. In serious cases a person may be committed for trial in the Crown Court and, if convicted, is liable to an unlimited fine. Section 210(3) provides that, in determining the amount of fine, the court shall take into account any financial benefit which has resulted, or is likely to result, from the offence.

There is also a duty requiring landowners to replace a tree removed, uprooted or destroyed in contravention of an Order.

Anyone found guilty in the magistrates’ court of an offence under Section 210(4) is liable to a fine of up to Level 4 (currently £2,500).”