Tree preservation orders

beech leaves at Roydon Wood

Tree preservation orders (TPO)

As of 6 April 2012, Tree Preservation Order Regulations changed so that TPO documents are shorter and simpler than they were previously. The Department of Communities and Local Government has provided revised guidance about this which is available on their website.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) were introduced in the late 1940s to enable Local Planning Authorities to protect important trees.

Since 1948 the Town and Country Planning Act, has made provision for the legal protection of important amenity trees and woodlands by Tree Preservation Order.   TPOs can be made on single trees, groups of trees, areas of trees or whole woodlands. The Authority has a duty to make TPOs if it is felt that the loss of trees would be detrimental to the local amenity. TPOs are more commonly imposed in urban environments but are not restricted to any particular setting.

TPO controls prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without prior consent from the Local Planning Authority.

The Authority can make new TPOs where it is considered that trees may be under threat from inappropriate works, and where such works would be detrimental to the public amenity they provide.

Unauthorised works to protected trees without prior consent can result in prosecution and an unlimited fine for each offence. There may also be a requirement to replace felled trees.  So, before undertaking any works to TPO trees you must submit a written application to the Authority.


Communities and Local Government

A guide to tree preservation procedures

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