Works to trees, tree preservation orders and trees in conservation areas
Works to trees, tree preservation orders and trees in conservation areas

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Works to trees, tree preservation orders and trees in conservation areas
  • Works to trees
  • Protecting trees through planning conditions
  • Protecting trees through tree preservation orders
  • Need for consent
  • Exceptions to need for consent
  • Effect of planning permission on TPO
  • Application process
  • Determination of application
  • Offence
  • more

Works to trees

Generally, work to trees does not constitute development under section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) so that planning permission is not required (see Practice Note: Operational development).

However, TCPA 1990, s 197 imposes a duty on a local planning authority (LPA) to:

  1. ensure, whenever it is appropriate, that in granting planning permission for any development adequate provision is made, by the imposition of conditions, for the preservation or planting of trees, and

  2. to make such tree preservation orders (TPOs) as appear to the LPA to be necessary in connection with the grant of such permission

Works to trees should therefore be carried out in compliance with any applicable planning conditions and, if trees are protected by a TPO, certain works to such trees are prohibited without the LPA’s consent (see Protecting trees through tree preservation orders). Additionally, TCPA 1990, s 211 (and related regulations) requires the LPA to be notified in advance of works to certain trees in conservation areas which are not protected by a TPO (see Works to trees in conservation areas).

As such, there are three key pieces of information to ascertain when considering works to trees:

  1. are there any planning conditions in an existing planning permission that might apply?

  2. is the tree subject to a TPO?

  3. is the tree