Check if a tree is protected and find out how to apply for any works to trees or hedges.
A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in England to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An Order prohibits the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage/destruction of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent. It is a criminal offence to carry out works to protected trees without this consent.
Trees in a Conservation Area that are not protected by an Order are protected by provisions that require people to notify the local planning authority 6 weeks before carrying out certain work on such trees, unless an exception applies: In conservation areas, notice is required for works to trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level (or more than 100mm if reducing the number of trees to benefit the growth of other trees). The work may go ahead before the end of the 6 week period if the local planning authority gives consent. This gives the authority an opportunity to consider whether an order should be made to protect the trees.
The .Gov.uk website explains the legislation governing Tree Preservation Orders and tree protection in conservation areas.
Other forms of protection: The tree(s) may not have a TPO or be in a Conservation Area however there are sometimes conditions attached to a planning application that restrict works to trees on site. It is your responsibility to check previous decision notices for these conditions prior to starting work. You can look up previous planning applications for a site on our Public Access system which includes an address search or map search. The decision notice will state the conditions.
Where a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or in a conservation area and works are required because the tree is considered to be dead or imminently dangerous, a formal tree works application is not required. However, at least five working days written notice must be given prior to the works taking place. No fee is required.
Email the Tree Protection Enquiry/5 Day Notice Form to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To avoid delay please make sure you complete all questions and attach what we ask for on the form to your email.
Once we have the information we need we will add your details to our register and a Case Officer will undertake an assessment. They will assess whether we have sufficient information to determine if a 5 Day Notice is the appropriate route or if a formal Application for Works to Trees is required. This can be done as a desktop exercise (by checking our records and the information provided with the application) if we have clear information including photos, but may involve a site visit if required. We aim to respond to the applicant within 5 working days to confirm whether the works can be carried out under this process. You are advised to wait for confirmation before proceeding with works. If a protected tree is not dead or imminently dangerous you will need to put a full formal Application for Works to Trees.
If you wish to carry out works to a tree that is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or within a Conservation Area you will need to apply for consent.
High Hedges are dealt with under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. The Government have published guidance on how to settle your hedge differences without involving the local authority.
Read Over the Garden Hedge on the Gov.uk website before you complain to the Council.
Provided you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute, you are now able to make a formal complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge to your local authority.
Read High Hedges Complaining to the Council on the Gov.uk website before you contact us.
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