Protecting trees and hedges
Trees and hedgerows are valuable for many reasons. They provide us with oxygen, help with pollution, reduce the sound of traffic, make our towns and villages more pleasant and attractive, and add value to our properties. They provide essential habitats for our wildlife and provide a living link to the past.
The many benefits of trees are probably taken for granted by most of us.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)
At the council we deal with applications for works to trees in a conservation area and those protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). A list of TPOs and links to maps showing designated conservation areas are available to view below. Information provided is for guidance only and we always advise that you check with us prior to works being undertaken.
We do not provide specialist advice regarding tree works, therefore if you intend to undertake works to trees which fall within either of the above, to allow us to consider your application, please provide as much information with your submission, including all details of work/s. If works are to trees protected by a TPO, it is your responsibility to seek independent advice from a tree specialist, including reasons and details of proposed works, all of which we require as part of your submission. We have provided helpful guidance for you to refer too regarding advice on hiring tree work contractors.
Further information is also available regarding
Tree Preservation Orders
As the local planning authority we are responsible for Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
Many thousands of trees throughout the district are protected by TPOs. The number is added to each year as our aim is to protect healthy trees which are in danger of being lost. If you are aware of an imminent threat to any tree, group of trees or a wood, please let us know.
A TPO is a piece of statute law that comes under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and The Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation)(England) Regulations 2012.
The law helps protect valuable trees which contribute to an area's landscape and amenity. TPO trees are usually mature, of good form and, most importantly, can be clearly seen from a public area. However, other factors are also relevant such as historic value, practical value (for example, screening, sound suppression) and as a habitat for protected wildlife. View criteria for issuing a TPO.
Identifying a tree which has an existing TPO
Click below to view our register of confirmed Tree Preservation Orders. If you require a copy of the order and plan or assistance regarding whether a tree is protected by TPO, please email or call our customer services team on 01636 650000.
Also all trees that grow within a conservation area which attain the size criteria will also have legal protection under the same Act.
Carrying out work on protected trees
Prior to carrying out any work on a tree protected by a preservation order or conservation area controls, permission must be sought from the district council.
For further guidance and details on how to submit your tree work application (Planning Portal).
Trees in a conservation area
Conservation areas are usually found in the most historic parts of our towns and villages. The buildings and structures there are usually of an historic nature (some of which may be listed) and the trees have a very important place within these special areas.
View further information relating to conservation areas in the district (including maps showing the location of each of our conservation areas).
In conservation areas you will often find very old trees, some as old as or even older than the buildings. But it's not just the old trees that make a significant contribution. Younger trees are trees of the future, and are sometimes protected to create green havens and ensure an area remains green in years to come, long after the veteran trees have gone.
The way the trees are protected in a conservation area is different to that of tree preservation orders. A conservation area is a clearly defined area within a settlement that usually encompasses many properties. Any tree within this defined boundary becomes subject to the protection of the conservation area.
Prior to carrying out any work on a tree within conservation areas permission must be sought from us.
View guidance and details on how to submit your tree work application (link to National Planning Portal)
By completing the application enables an assessment to be made of the works needed, and the threat to the tree, so that a Tree Preservation Order may be made if need be to ensure that important trees remain.