Tree Preservation Orders – TPO
What is a Tree Preservation Order?
A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in England to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An Order prohibits the:
- cutting down
- wilful damage
- wilful destruction
of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent. If consent is given, it can be subject to conditions which have to be followed. In the Secretary of State’s view, cutting roots is also a prohibited activity and requires the authority’s consent.
What are a tree owner’s responsibilities?
Owners of protected trees must not carry out, or cause or permit the carrying out of, any of the prohibited activities without the written consent of the local authority. As with owners of unprotected trees, they are responsible for maintaining their trees, with no statutory rules setting out how often or to what standard. The local planning authority cannot require maintenance work to be done to a tree just because it is protected. However, the authority can encourage good tree management, particularly when determining applications for consent under a Tree Preservation Order. This will help to maintain and enhance the amenity provided by protected trees.
Arboricultural advice from competent contractors and consultants, or the authority, will help to inform tree owners of their responsibilities and options. It is important that trees are inspected regularly and necessary maintenance carried out to make sure they remain safe and healthy.
Unauthorised works to protected trees
What happens if I work on a protected tree without permission?
The courts have powers to fine anyone contravening a Tree Preservation Order. The maximum fine is £20,000 for destroying a tree and up to £2,500 for anyone who does not completely destroy a tree but has carried out some other works without consent. If the destruction of a tree is shown to be beneficial to a proposed development any fines are unlimited and are set at the discretion of the court.
You may have to plant another tree if the tree was cut down or destroyed.
The red shaded areas on the map above in BN16 & BN17 are areas with trees in with TPOs on. Need to see a close up of one particular area? Please pop in to any Cooper Adams office and they will show you.