Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
There are over 560 separate TPOs within our boundaries covering individual trees, groups of trees, 'areas' and woodlands.
TPOs are documents that give legal protection to specified individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands of public amenity value. A TPO can apply to a single tree, a group of trees or woodland. Any size, species or age of tree can be protected by a TPO. The tree(s) are usually visible from a public place and make a positive contribution to the landscape. With groups or woodlands, it is the collective amenity value of the trees that is important rather than the individual merits of each tree.
The order makes it an offence to cut down, uproot, prune, damage or destroy the tree or trees in question. This does not necessarily mean that work cannot be carried out; it means that permission must be obtained first.
A tree protected by a TPO is still the responsibility of the landowner, we are not responsible for the tree and will not contribute to the cost of its maintenance.
Sections 197 and 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 gives local planning authorities (LPA) the discretion to serve tree preservation orders. We (as the LPA) have to justify the placement of a TPO and the tree owner can object to the placement of such an order.
In addition, there are controls over trees in conservation areas.