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Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

April 18, 2023

What is a Tree Preservation Order?

A tree preservation order is an order made by a local planning authority and is a way to protect trees of amenity value, meaning they are of a certain value to the local community, have an importance to wildlife and this includes trees that are threatened due to a new development. This order can protect individual trees, a group of trees or an area of woodland.

This order then protects the tree from being cut down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage and wilful destruction.

How do you Know That There is a Tree Preservation Order

You can check if a certain tree or area of trees are protected by contacting your local council or by looking on your council’s website.

If the tree is located within a Conservation Area, it is also worth contacting your local council to see if the tree is protected by an order. A Conservation Area exists to protect historical architecture or a place of historical interest and this includes trees. Every local authority has at least one conservation areas, with the total amount of areas totalling upwards of 10,000 in England. This means that, there is a fair chance that a group of trees may be located within a Conservation Area, and it is worth contacting your local authority to confirm.

What Happens if You Breach a Tree Preservation Order

If you carry out work on a tree that is protected by a tree preservation order, then you will more than likely be fined up to £20,000. Furthermore, breaching a tree preservation order can be considered a criminal offence and you may be prosecuted in the Magistrates court or Crown Court and the amount of fine will be determined by the Court considering the financial benefit which has resulted or will result, from the offence. So, therefore it is important to seek professional legal advice if you have breached this order.

To continue, if you have removed a tree, as the landowner you are expected to replace that tree. This is also applicable for trees just outside the woodland that have been removed because they are dead or pose serious harm i.e., fall onto the road. The local authority serving your property may also serve you a ‘tree replacement notice’, this is a notice for you to replace a tree after getting consent to remove one.

If you feel like your property may be affected by a Tree Preservation Order or if you are concerned that you may have breached one, do not hesitate to get in touch with our property team.

Phone Number: 0121 705 7571

Email Address:

Oliver Wheldon
Paralegal – Development Department

This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.