Trees and hedges are a beneficial and important part of our landscape, in both town and country, and it is vital to protect them.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPO), give protection to trees which are considered to contribute to the landscape and amenity of an area either individually or as a group. This protection means that any works to these trees can only be carried out with our consent.
Trees in a conservation area
Any trees within the boundary of a conservation area, where the trunk is over 7.5cm in diameter at 1.5m above ground level, are protected. This means that you must give us notice before carrying out any works to them.
Works to trees covered by an order
You must submit an application to us before carrying out work to a tree that it is protected by a TPO or that is in a conservation area.
- Works to trees application form (opens in new window)
- Work to trees application guidance notes (opens in new window)
We will determine your application within eight weeks. There is no charge for these type of applications.
If you disagree with our decision you have the right to appeal.
You must give six weeks notice if you intend to carry out work on trees in a conservation area. If we consider that your works are not acceptable and we decide not to accept the notice, we must then serve a provisional TPO.
Please note that felling of trees which are not subject to a TPO may still require a Felling License from the Forestry Commission (opens in new window), failure to fell under a proper license is an offence subject to a penalty. Visit the GOV web site for Government advice on works to trees not covered by a TPO (opens in new window).
If you need to do work to a tree for safety reasons or where you consider a protected tree is dangerous, please contact us immediately.
We will take a maximum of five working days to confirm to you the works that are required to make the tree safe, you will then be able to proceed.
If you consider that a protected tree is dead, we will need to agree this with you before you carry out any work.
Please include reasons for and details of the proposed works as part of your submission.
Advice on tree works
If you wish to do works to trees which are protected and need advice, it is your responsibility to seek this from an independent tree specialist.
Trees have a limited life span and may become diseased or can cause damage to buildings. It is inevitable that some trees covered by a TPO will have to be removed from time to time. However, it is a legal requirement that these trees should be replaced. This must be agreed with us as part of your application.
Hedges which are at least 20 metres in length, more than 30 years old and contain certain plant species are also protected. It is against the law to remove or destroy such a hedgerow without permission from us.
See further information on Hedgerow regulations (opens in new window).
If you are having problems with a neighbour regarding a high hedge, find out what to do using the High hedges guidance (opens in new window). This will explain what you need to do to try to resolve the dispute.
If you have tried the options set out and cannot resolve the issue, you can ask us to get involved by submitting your complaint using the High hedge complaint form (opens in a new window). The fee for this is in our Planning and building control fees and charges (opens in a new window) document.
We will not negotiate between you and the hedge owner, but will decide if the hedge affects your amenity or impacts on your enjoyment of your property. If we decide that work to the hedge is required then a Hedgerow Notice will be served