Trees and planning consent

If you are intending to carry out any tree work, you may need to obtain planning consent first.

The information below is intended to help you work out whether planning consent is required. If so, it will inform you about what type of application you will need to submit and what supporting documents you will need to supply with it.

(Disclaimer: Please note that the information below is intended to be an introductory guide. It should therefore not be taken as binding. If you are in any doubt, you should contact planning advice and information to make sure that you have understood the situation properly).

Do I need to apply for planning consent?

Tree Preservations Orders (TPO)

You will need to apply for consent to carry out work on a tree that is subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

Please note however, that a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is overridden if the tree has to be felled to make way for a new development which has already been granted planning permission. This is because we will have already considered the impact on or potential loss of any protected trees when assessing the associated planning application.

Trees in conservation areas

If a tree is not subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) but is located in a conservation area, you will need to provide us with at least six weeks notice of any proposed works if:

  • the tree is more than 7.5cm in diameter
  • the tree is more than 1.5m in height (or 10cm if the work is to help the growth of other trees)

If we have any objections to your proposed works, we will send a letter informing you that we intend to protect the tree by serving a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on it. If we have not responded within six weeks, you can carry out any works without our consent.

Emergency work on trees

If a tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or located within a conservation area but is dead, dying or dangerous, then the normal application process is waived. However, you must give us five days notice of your intentions to carry out any work.

You can carry out work without prior notice if the danger is immediate, for example if the tree is in imminent danger of falling down and will cause damage or injury if it does. If you intend to do this, you are strongly advised to collect evidence in the form of photographs, a tree surgeons report and an independent witness statement. We may require you to prove that the tree was dead, dying or dangerous at a later date.

Trees obstructing public highways

If your trees are overhanging the pavement and obstructing pedestrians you may prune it to a clearance height of 2.5m. Any more than 2.5M requires consent.

Trees overhanging the pavement should have a minimum clearance height of 2.5m (or 5m above roads). Where the minimum clearance height is not met, we will serve owners with a notice requiring them to prune their trees.

If you have been served with a notice and do not comply, we may complete the work and charge you for it.