Tree preservation orders

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Trees can be a significant amenity asset and are often protected by law as they add to the appearance and character of the Borough. Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are legal orders made to protect trees: single trees, areas of trees, groups of trees and woodlands can all be covered. If you want to do any works to trees covered by a TPO you will need consent from the Borough Council. This applies to any works to lop, top, pollard or fell a tree. In addition, most trees within Conservation Areas have a similar protection and works to these may also need consent.

You can see details of TPOs on our Protected Trees map, together with details of the extents of the Conservation Areas.

If you have trees subject to a TPO and want to carry out works you will need to apply online or use the paper forms for Tree Preservation Order Consent. There is no charge for this application.

Under Section 154 of the Highways Act 1980, the Authority's consent is not required for tree works protected by an Order to enable the implementation of a Highway Order or scheme made or confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport.

However, please be aware that it is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any protected tree with the necessary Consent. If you carry out works without consent you may be prosecuted in the Magistrates' Court, be subject to a fine of up to £20,000 and, in serious cases, committed for trial in the Crown Court.

Trees may also be protected by the imposition of a condition of a planning permission. Please look at any relevant planning applications to find out if this protection applies.

If you are unsure if permission is required, it is advisable to check prior to carrying out any tree works, by e-mailing trees@tmbc.gov.uk

Further information on protected trees may be found on the Planning Portal.