The Town and Country Planning Act (1990) and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 places a duty on the Local Planning Authority to consider the impact of development proposals on existing trees.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
TPOs are designated by Local Planning Authorities (LPA) to protect trees which have significant impact upon their local surroundings. The principal effect of a TPO is to prohibit:
(1) cutting down,
(5) willful damage, or
(6) willful destruction
of trees without the LPA's consent. The cutting of roots, although not expressly covered above, is also potentially damaging and so, in the Secretary of State's view, requires the LPA's consent.
Failure to obtain consent can result in criminal prosecution with a fine of up to £20,000 on summary conviction or an unlimited fine on indictment to Crown Court.
The law regarding TPOs is included in Part VIII of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and in the Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999 which came into force on 2 August 1999. The Act must be read in conjunction with Section 23 of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 which amended some of the TPO provisions in the 1990 Act and added four new sections.
Conservation Areas are localities which have been identified by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) as having special architectural or historic interest. The designation relates to the overall character of an area and includes trees and hedgerows.
If it is intended to carry out works to trees, such as pruning or felling, within a Conservation Area, it is imperative that six weeks’ written notification is provided to the LPA. There are some exemptions to this requirement and Middlemarch can provide detailed advice on this matter.
The law relating to conservation areas is included in Part II of the Planning (Listed Buildings and
Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
Failure to make a written notification could result in a fine of up to £20,000 on summary conviction, or an unlimited fine if indicted to Crown Court.
What we do
Tree surveys are the first step in the arboricultural process. All our tree surveys are completed in accordance with British Standard 5837 (2012) ‘Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition & Construction – Recommendations’.
One of our experienced Arboricultural Surveyors will attend site and gather a range of data regarding the trees within or close to the development site including: species, condition, height, crown spread and stem diameter.
Completing a tree survey early in the process can prevent inappropriate tree retention and allow the development to be designed to retain the most valuable specimens and prevent conflict of trees with the new development.
In addition to tree surveys, Middlemarch Environmental also undertakes a desktop survey to check if any of the trees surveyed are subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) or if the site is situated in a Conservation Area. This identifies any likely constraints for the development with regards to trees at the earliest opportunity.
The Local Planning Authority may require further arboricultural works where developments could impact upon trees. These services can be completed by Middlemarch’s experienced Arboricultural Team and include:
- Tree Constraints Plans
- Arboricultural Implications Assessments/ Arboricultural Impact Assessments
- Arboricultural Method Statements/ Arboricultural Development Statements
- Tree Protection Plans
- Pre-commencement meetings
- Arboricultural Audits during and post-development
- Arboricultural Supervision
- Tree Safety Assessments/ Tree Hazard Assessment
- Tree Decay Detection Assessments
You can read some case studies below describing how we have helped clients with Tree Surveys: