Tree Preservation Orders
Trees are an important part of our environment offering great amenity value and enhancing the areas in which we live, work and play. In order to protect trees of particular value, local planning authorities can issue a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). These can cover an individual tree, a group of trees or an area of trees and woodlands and there are around 500 Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in Herefordshire, covering 743,000 individual trees. These orders prohibit the cutting down or pruning of trees as well as any wilful damage or destruction of the trees.
Trees in the UK (over 7.5cm in diameter) are also protected if they fall within a conservation area, an area of special architectural or historic interest that is covered by planning legislation to preserve or enhance their character or appearance. There are currently 64 conservation areas in Herefordshire and they vary in size from tiny hamlets to villages to country house estates, market towns, and include Hereford's historic centre and parts of Ross on Wye town and riverside.
Planning permission for tree work
Trees within a conservation area or subject to a TPO must not be cut or damaged without permission from the relevant authority. The penalty for cutting trees without consent is up to a £20,000 fine. For trees in a conservation area, the Council has 6 weeks to consider the application and decide whether to grant consent or make an Order on the tree. For trees already covered by a TPO, the Council has 8 weeks to review the application and will work with various stakeholders to see if there are any objections to the proposed work.
At Chapel Tree Services we will check if there are any restrictions on your trees at the time of quoting for any work and if a planning application is required, we will take care of this on your behalf. We will complete the planning forms, provide location maps, a detailed assessment of the tree work required and liaise with the Council Tree Officer on your behalf including any site visits required by the authority. All this is included in our pricing. If consent is not granted we charge a small administrative fee for the work carried out and can help with the appeals process if appropriate.
Any parts of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB’s) which fall within a Conservation Area will require planning permission for tree work, although an AONB that is not within a conservation or does not have any TPO’s does not require any special permission.