Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

Help to preserve our most valued trees 

Woodland boundary ditch Beech
Veteran Beech failureThe United Kingdom has a history of legislation that protects trees and woodlands, it gives local planning authorities (LPAs) wide powers to make tree preservation orders (TPOs). This protection is similar in ways to that of the system of listing buildings and helps preserve our most valued trees.

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is made by a Local Planning Authority (LPA) in order to protect trees or woodland areas where it appears to them to be expedient in the interests of amenity, therefore making a significant contribution and impact on their local surroundings. All species of trees can be protected, however, hedges, bushes or shrubs cannot. You may ask your LPA to consider making a TPO for trees that you would like protected.

TPOs can protect trees of any age and can protect a single tree through to an entire woodland area. Tree owners still remain responsible for the maintenance of their trees and any damage that they may cause. The order makes it an offence to cut down, uproot, prune, lop or damage the tree in question without first obtaining the Council’s consent, anyone found liable could be fined up to £20,000 in a Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine on indictment at Crown Court.

To check whether a tree is protected and to make an application to carry out pruning or felling work to a protected tree, you should contact your LPA. If work to a tree protected by a TPO is refused you may appeal within 28 days of receipt of the decision to the Secretary of State by contacting the Planning Inspectorate.

New TPO procedures – 2008

Important changes to TPO procedures came into effect on 1 October 2008. These changes include a requirement for all applications for work to trees protected by a TPO to be made on a standard form. The form is available from the Planning Portal or from your LPA. A new fast-track appeals process has also been introduced.

Advice on New TPOs

If you are served notice of a new TPO the notice should also have been served on all affected persons whereby tree owners and any interested parties may endorse or object to the order.

Tree Surveys is able to provide expert advice on all aspects of TPO’s including the making, serving and administration of Orders, an assessment of the legality, viability and enforceability and appropriateness of an Order. We can also make representations to the LPA in respect of works.

If required Tree Surveys can act on your behalf, objecting to the imposition of a new TPO and appeal against the decision of the LPA and consider compensation issues on your behalf.

Tree Surveys have experience of paper-based and electronic field surveys for LPA’s for the purposes of reviewing and updating TPOs.

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