The importance of trees
Trees are important and attractive features throughout the
district and are of particular significance within
our conservation areas. They often provide:
- a welcome contrast or counterpoint to buildings
- screening for unsightly views
- movement and changing colour to the otherwise unvarying
appearance of streets and groups of buildings
- habitats for wildlife
- foliage which acts as a 'filter' to remove some
toxic pollutants from the atmosphere
The legal situation
Within a conservation area there are restrictions to the
work that may be carried out on trees. We must be given at
least six weeks notice in writing before works
are carried out to most trees within conservation areas. The notice
- which trees require work
- the nature of the work
- the reasons for doing it
Work must not be carried out during that period without
permission. (If it is, a heavy fine could be imposed and
replacement planting will generally be required). After six
weeks the Council has to make a decision, either approve the
works or serve a Tree Preservation Order. Works must be
completed within two years of the date of serving the
Notification is not needed if the tree intended to be worked on
- less than 7.5 cm (3 inches) in diameter
- less than 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter *if
removal is to improve the growth of other trees.
- dead or dying or imminently dangerous trees (the tree owner
must be able to prove the trees were dead dying or dangerous).
- in a commercial orchard, or pruning fruit trees in accordance
with good horticultural practice.
- directly in the way of development that is about to start and
for which detailed planning permission has been granted.
The diameter is to be measured over the bark of the tree at 1.5m
(5ft) above ground level and can be taken to be roughly equal
to a third of the girth at that height divided by 3.
Work may also be undertaken without notice:
- to prevent or control a nuisance (in the legal sense, in which
case it may be helpful to consult a solicitor).
- to comply with an obligation under an Act of Parliament.
- at the request of certain government departments and other
Before works are carried out on trees:
Permission is needed when a tree is in a conservation area. To
find out more information contact
the tree preservation team. To apply to carry out
work to a tree in a conservation area you will be required to
complete an application form and return it to our office, guidance
notes are available to help you complete the application form.
Applicaton Form. Application Checklist
and Guidance Notes
Online application forms are now accessed via the Planning Portal,
this will take you to the general public access page. If you are a
new user you will have to register at the top of the page.
- If you need to find out if you are in a conservation area,
please check the interactive
map (select Layers tab / Built Environment / Conservation
Areas) or contact the
- For general advice about tree works or whether the works you
propose requires notification or not, please check with the
- If you are concerned that tree works are being carried out
without the relevant consent, please contact