Tree Preservation Orders

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are made under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999. Planning conditions are normally conditions which are applied when planning applications affect existing trees – they are normally only temporary (for up to two years) but some last for longer, and indeed some have no time limit at all, so even if your tree is in an area where no planning permission has been granted recently it is worth checking.

Once a TPO is made it is usually takes immediate effect, but can be confirmed or terminated at any time up to six months’ time, with or without modifications. Modifications can be a change in description or map details, or a removal of certain trees from the order, but cannot include extra trees to be protected – if the Authority wants to add trees to the order as originally made it is usually necessary to make a new Order. The landowner is still responsible for the trees, their condition and any damage they might cause at all times.

Details of Orders, applications for work and decisions are kept by the local authority and should be available for public inspection. A landowner is also served notice if a new order is made on their land. It is normal, but not required, for other interested parties (for example neighbours, parish councils etc) to be sent copies of new orders too. There is no requirement for applications to do work to protected trees to be advertised, although many authorities choose to do so.

To find out if trees are protected then please contact us.