Trees and tree preservation

Certain trees are afforded protection under the Town and Country Planning legislation and the consent of the Council is required to carry out works to such trees.

What consent is required?

1. If trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), consent is required for all works of pruning and felling. The exception is where the work needs to be undertaken as a matter of urgency in the event of the tree being dead or in a dangerous condition. As the carrying out of works to trees covered by a TPO without consent constitutes a prosecutable offence, it is a requirement to give at least five working days written prior notice to the Council of proposed work on dead trees, unless there is an urgent risk to safety, in which case the Council should be notified as soon as practicable after the works become necessary.

2. The Council requires at least six weeks prior notice of intended works to trees situated in a Conservation Area. During this period the Council can either give consent for the works to proceed or, if there are objections, make the tree(s) the subject of a Tree Preservation Order. In the event of the Council not doing either of the above within the six week period then the works may proceed.

You do not need to notify us if you want to cut down or work on a tree in a Conservation Area that is less than 7.5cm in diameter (measured 1.5m above ground) or 10cm if you are thinning to help the growth of other trees. There is also no need to follow the notification procedure when a tree is dead or has become dangerous, although, as for trees protected by a TPO, it is a requirement to give at least five working days prior notice to the Council of the need to proceed with the works.

3. Many planning permissions for the erection of houses, factories, offices, shops etc. are subject to conditions which protect existing trees or require trees, planted as part of the development, to be retained. In these cases the written consent of the Council is required to carry out any works to the trees and, in some instances, hedges.

If you would like more information regarding the requirements of the legislation relating to works to trees then please contact Development and Conservation.

To obtain consent it is necessary to submit an application electronically via the Planning Portal.