Q&As

A person intends to buy a property subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) relating to two beech trees. Those trees are not evident at the property and the seller has not removed them. Can a successor in title be prosecuted for breach of the TPO simply for the fact the trees have been removed without permission by a predecessor in title?

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Produced in partnership with Alastair Frew of Lodders Solicitors
Published on LexisPSL on 12/10/2018

The following Planning Q&A Produced in partnership with Alastair Frew of Lodders Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A person intends to buy a property subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) relating to two beech trees. Those trees are not evident at the property and the seller has not removed them. Can a successor in title be prosecuted for breach of the TPO simply for the fact the trees have been removed without permission by a predecessor in title?

In summary, criminal liability is strict for breach of a tree preservation order (TPO), but this does not pass to successors. However, be careful to check the details.

The protected trees are not evident on the property. It is first worth checking with the local planning authority’s (LPA) tree officer that the TPO was correct, and that the trees were indeed on this property. Just looking at the layout of the garden might reveal whether two substantial trees had, in the recent past, been removed.

It is a criminal offence to cut down a protected tree without consent from the local authority. Perhaps, the predecessor in this case obtained consent?

However, the Practice Note: Works to trees, tree preservation orders and trees in conservation areas explains tha

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