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Trees and hedges

Before carrying out any tree work it is important to find out whether the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), Conservation Area, or through another form of protection. You may have already been notified that a TPO covers trees that you own, either when the order was originally served or through a Local Land Charges search carried out by your solicitor prior to you purchasing the property. If you are at all unsure as to whether a tree is protected please contact us for clarification.

What protection exists for trees?

There are several different types of tree protection:

Tree Preservation Orders can be placed on trees by the local authority. Tree Preservation Orders, (known as TPOs), can be placed on either individual trees, or on groups, areas or even entire woodlands. TPOs afford the trees a high level of protection because the local authority must give consent on any proposals to fell or undertake any works to them.

Trees within conservation areas are protected as long as they meet the minimum size requirements. They must have a trunk diameter of 7.5cm measured at 1.5 metres above ground level. If the trees in question measure this size or greater than they are protected regardless of their species.

Felling licences

The Forestry Commission decides whether a felling licence application can be granted. If the trees in question are also the subject of a TPO or are within a conservation area then we will be consulted by the Forestry Commission.

Felling licences must be obtained from the Forestry Commission, for felling and thinning of trees. However, this does not apply within domestic gardens, churchyards, orchards or public open space, nor does it cover any pruning or remedial works to the trees.

There are a number of exemptions which apply to this type of application however, along with minimum requirements regarding the amount of felling works, and it may therefore be advisable to check with the Forestry Commission for clarification.

Planning applications

Planning restrictions exist on some sites prohibiting the removal of trees, other than through TPO and Conservation Area restrictions. These normally come about as conditions attached to the granting of planning applications. One example may be that permission to build an extension has been granted at a particular property, subject to a large tree in the garden being retained. That tree would then be the subject of a planning condition requiring its retention and protection during building construction. Works to trees protected by a planning condition require written approval from the Local Planning Authority.

Trees - frequently asked questions

High hedges - frequently asked questions

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0300 456 0114