As a planning authority, we recognise the environmental and social value of trees, and they are an important element of planning policy, particularly in conservation areas.
We have statutory powers and a duty to protect important trees and woodlands. A British Standard provides guidance for best practice regarding trees and planning. This states that if a tree is above a certain size, then the Local Planning Authority may choose to protect it. Specifically, this applies to trees with a trunk diameter of 75mm or more, when measured 1.5m from the ground.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
We can make a TPO to protect trees which are an important part of the amenity , or public use and value, of a place. This could mean everything from areas of woodland to groups of trees, single trees or hedgerow trees (but not hedges, bushes or shrubs). Once the TPO is in force, it becomes an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy the tree without our permission. If you would like more detail on the full legislation around tree protection, you can find it on the GOV.UK website.
Trees in a conservation area
If you live in a conservation area and you want to reduce or fell trees, you will need to notify us six weeks in advance of the planned work. You can do this via the standard planning application process at the Planning Portal. If you would like more detail on the full legislation around trees in conservation areas, you can find it on the Planning Portal and the GOV.UK website.
If you want to check the applications and notifications for tree works in your area, you can find them on our Planning Register. Use the Advanced Search tool, and select Application Type. Works to trees are at the bottom of the alphabetical list.
Trees and development
If you are proposing a development which will affect trees on your (or adjoining) property, you will need to submit an arboricultural statement (a tree survey) with your planning application. For guidance on what the statement should include, please refer to the British Standard for best practice regarding trees and planning.