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Works to Trees

Application for work to trees

Application for Tree Works: Works to Trees Subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

Notification of Proposed Works to Trees in Conservation Areas (CA)

Town and Country Planning Act 19901


When to use this application type

Before works are carried out on protected trees you will normally need to contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA). This is usually the council you pay your council tax to, however, if the tree(s) are in the Broads Authority area or a National Park you should consult the relevant authority.

Protected trees include those covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or those which grow in a conservation area. You will need to contact the LPA if you wish to prune branches overhanging from a neighbour’s protected tree.

  • Tree Preservation Orders – If you wish to carry out works to a tree(s) protected by a TPO you must apply and include all relevant information as this will be the basis for a decision to be made on.
  • Conservation areas – You must give six weeks’ notice before carrying out work to trees in a conservation area that are not protected by a TPO. This is achieved through a Section 211 notice.2
  • Permitted development – You must apply or give notice to your LPA if you want to work on a protected tree where you are carrying out development where full planning permission is not needed.
  • Planning permission – Where full planning permission has been granted you might need to apply or give notice to the LPA before carrying out work to protected trees. You can confirm whether this is necessary by contacting your LPA.

If a tree falls under a TPO and is in a conservation area, then procedure follows that of the TPO.


What is a Tree Preservation Order?

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is placed on a tree, group of trees or woodland with the aim of protecting them. Through prohibiting, without the Local Planning Authorities (LPA) consent:

  • Felling
  • Topping
  • Lopping
  • Uprooting
  • Wilful damage/destruction

Owners of the trees must maintain their trees, and an LPA will often encourage good tree management. However, they are unable to require maintenance work just because a tree falls under a TPO.


Section 211 notice

A section 211 notice is required when performing work on trees which are in a conservation area which are not subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). The local authority can reply by providing a TPO or by allowing the work to go ahead. As it is not an application for consent, it cannot be refused or accepted with conditions.

A replacement tree should be planted in the space if a tree is removed or destroyed. This should be of the same species and size within reason.

If there is not enough information in a section 211 notice, then the authority may request further details or give advice on resubmission.


Consent is not required when a tree is dangerous or dead, however, you should be prepared to prove that the works fall within an exemption. You are still advised to speak with your Local Planning Authority about any proposed work, especially in the case of felling.


Before you apply

You may wish to discuss your needs with a competent arborist (tree surgeon) before contacting the Local Planning Authority (LPA). If the LPA are able to, it may be worthwhile discussing your proposal(s) with them informally before you complete the form. This allows the LPA to:

  • Explore whether the work is exempt from the need to apply/notify
  • Advise on how best to present your proposals
  • Guide you through the process and the LPA’s tree protection policies


Who can carry out tree work?

When deciding who should prune or fell your tree you should bear in mind:

  • Tree work is a dangerous activity and should be carried out by trained, competent and appropriately insured arborists
  • Tree work should be carried out to a good standard. Local Planning Authorities (LPA) will usually require the work to comply with BS 3998 recommendations for tree work

You may wish to contact your LPA for guidance on selecting a contractor in your area.


Enforcement

The Local Planning Authority can prosecute when work is carried out without their consent on a preserved tree, without the required notice on a tree in a conservation area or when exemptions are misused.


Information required

To support your application for works on a tree, you will be required to provide the following details:

  • A sketch map of the tree(s) location. This does not have to be to scale but demonstrating the distances between trees, boundaries, properties and relevant features is advised. Adjoining properties and roads should be included.
  • The tree type and condition.
  • The applicant and other parties’ interest in the tree.
  • Description of the intended works and reasons for the works, showing which trees will be affected and the type of work which will be done on them. (Applicable when a tree is under protection of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)).
  • Any replacement trees which will be planted. (Applicable when a tree is under protection of a TPO).

This must be detailed enough for the local authority to understand the proposals.

Where trees are protected by a TPO you must include the reasons for work and where the trees are being felled. Followed by any proposals for planting replacement trees including the quantity, species, position and size, alternatively any reasons for not wanting to replant.


Timeline

A notice for work on a tree in a conservation area should be given 6 weeks prior to work commencing.

An application for works on a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order can take up to 8 weeks to gain approval. This begins when the Local Planning Authority accepts the application as valid.

Consent lasts for 2 years once the notice is given, or application is approved.


Fees

There is no fee applied to this application type.


What happens next

Once an application is approved you can proceed with the planned development.

If you gave a notice for work on a tree in a conservation area then the local authority may issue a Tree Preservation Order, meaning that more details will have to be provided before work can be done.


Useful resources

Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas - GOV.UK3

  1. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/8/part/VIII/chapter/I
  2. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-preservation-orders-and-trees-in-conservation-areas#Section-211-notices
  3. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-preservation-orders-and-trees-in-conservation-areas

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The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. All content © 2022 Planning Portal.