Prior to undertaking any works, the tree owner or agent is legally required to submit an an application for tree works to the Planning department. Once submitted, the determination process may take up to 8 weeks before the decision notice is sent out to the applicant. Before submitting an application, you may find it helpful to seek the services of a qualified arboriculturalist or read the guidance notes to clarify what work is required.
Are we legally responsible for the maintenance of a tree subject to a TPO?
No, the owner remains legally responsible for the management and maintenance of the tree(s), including any liabilities. It is our responsibility to protect trees which are subject to a TPO and to make sure they are maintained in an appropriate manner.
You must obtain written consent must be obtained from us prior to undertaking any works on such trees.
Felling of trees which are not subject to a TPO may still require a Felling License from the Forestry Commission, failure to fell under a proper licence is an offence subject to a penalty.
Do I always need to obtain your permission to work on a protected tree?
Generally yes, however, there are exemptions. You may find it helpful to consult either a private arboriculturalist or the Landscape and Street Scene Department for advice on exemptions and whether your proposals need an application.
What happens if I carry out unauthorised works to a protected tree?
Should you deliberately undertake work on a protected tree without authorisation you may be liable to prosecution and you may be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in the Magistrates Court. In determining the amount of the fine, the court will take account of any financial benefit arising from the offence.