The Town and Country Planning Act makes special provisions for the protection of trees within conservation areas, that are not otherwise protected by the Tree Preservation Order (TPO). All trees with trunks measuring over 7.5cm in diameter at a height of 1.5m from the ground, regardless of age, species or location are automatically protected.
Six weeks written notice is required for works to trees in a conservation area. The application forms and guidance notes are available to download on the Application Forms page of this website. Upon validation of an application, the Trees Team will assess the proposal and can act in one of three ways:
Make a TPO if this is justified in the interests of public amenity; or
Decide not to make a TPO and let the six weeks' notice period expire; or
Decide not to make a TPO and write to the applicant granting consent for the works to go ahead.
Please note if a tree in a conservation area is felled without consent, you could be liable for an unlimited fine. If other works (for example pruning) is carried out to a tree within a conservation area without consent, in a manner that is not likely to destroy the tree, this could result in a fine of up to £20,000 (if convicted in a Magistrates Court).
What if the tree is also subject to a Tree Preservation Order?
If a tree within a conservation area is also protected by a TPO, then the TPO procedures would take precedent. More information is available on the Tree Preservation Orders page of this website.
How do I report unauthorised works to a tree in a conservation area?
There are two courses of action you can take if you suspect works are being carried out without consent to a protected tree.
You can contact the Trees Officers on 01353 665555 to establish whether notice has been given for the works. If there is no record of any consents they will pass the matter to the Council's Planning Enforcement Team.
You can report the issue directly to the Planning Enforcement Team by using the Report a Breach page of this website.