Local Authorities have the power under the Coutryside and Rights of Way Act to create a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). These may be on individual trees, groups of trees, or woodlands. The purpose of a Tree Preservation Order is to protect trees against removal or improper pruning that would result in a significant loss of amenity. More information concerning the legislation surrounding Tree Preservation Orders can be found here.
Applying to Remove or Prune a Protected Tree
Before removing or commencing any work to protected trees, permission must be obtained from the local authority. This process usually takes 8 weeks from the date of submission of a “Formal Application to Carry Out Works to Protected Trees”. An accurate arboricultural description of the proposed works is required along with a map indicating the position of the tree(s). All tree works will be required to conform to BS 3998 : (1989) Tree Works.
A potentially unlimited fine and a criminal record are enforceable for unauthorised work.
Crown Tree Consultants are able to act as agents and submit a ‘Formal Application to Carry Out Works to Protected Trees’ on your behalf. Our expert tree survey or will be able to advise as to what works are likely to be permitted. With your approval we shall invite the Tree Officer to meet us on site to discuss the proposed works. We are not able to guarantee permission, but our expertise and realistic expectations means that applications tend to be met with favour.
Appealing Against a TPO Decision
If your local authority choose not to grant permission for the tree-works applied for, you have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State.
Crown Tree Consultancy are able to advise whether you have reasonable grounds for appeal, and we are able to act as agents on your behalf. If we agree to represent you, we will use our arboricultural expertise to lodge a formal and professional appeal which will increase your chances of a successful outcome. But hurry, you only have 28 days in which to appeal.
Objecting to a Tree Preservation Order
When local authorities make a Tree Preservation Order, they must consider all representations made about the provisional TPO. This means that you have an opportunity to air any grievances before the TPO is officially confirmed.
Crown Tree Consultants are able to advise you as to whether you have good grounds for objecting and are able to act as agents on your behalf. We have extensive knowledge of the procedures that the local authority are required to follow, as well as the guidelines laid down by the Secretary of State as to whether local authorities should confirm, or revoke, Tree Preservation Orders.
If we feel that your local authority has not followed correct procedures or adhered to Government guidelines, we may agree to represent you. In which case, we shall use our knowledge and expertise to increase your chances of a successful objection.
High Court Challenge
Once a Tree Preservation Order has been confirmed, there is no further right of appeal to the Secretary of State. However, it is possible to apply to the High Court for the Order to be quashed. Such a challenge may not be mounted on the merits of the tree. Only the legality of the Order may be called into question.
Please feel free to contact us for further advice or assistance.