Q&As

Who is liable for damage or injury to a tree subject to a tree preservation order if it falls, when the local authority has refused the owner’s permission to fell the tree (and will prosecute the owner if it does so) as it disagrees with the report commissioned by the owner that it is dangerous and at imminent risk of falling?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 15/11/2017

The following Property Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who is liable for damage or injury to a tree subject to a tree preservation order if it falls, when the local authority has refused the owner’s permission to fell the tree (and will prosecute the owner if it does so) as it disagrees with the report commissioned by the owner that it is dangerous and at imminent risk of falling?

This Q&A will consider four issues:

  1. would the tree owner have a claim against the local authority?

  2. if so, on what basis would he be able to bring a claim?

  3. would the tree owner have a defence to any claim from a third party for damage or injury caused by the tree on the basis that he had done all he could to prevent a claim from arising but had been prevented from felling the tree by the local authority?

  4. is there anything he can do to try to protect the public and his family given the local authority’s position that there is no danger posed by the tree?

Tree preservation orders (TPOs) are governed by the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012, SI 2012/605 which themselves are promulgated under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990), as amended. A TPO is an order made by a local planning authority under TC

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