All trees in Conservation Areas are protected if they have a stem diameter of 75mm (roughly 3 inches) measures at 1.5m (roughly 5 feet) above ground. In general, it is an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for anyone to undertake work to a tree in a Conservation Area without giving us six weeks' prior written notice. The notice period is so that we can decide if the tree(s) should be protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

To give notice of the work to a tree(s) in a Conservation Area, please download and complete our Works to trees in a Conservation Area application form. You must provide details of the location of the tree(s) and details of the work proposed. See Works to trees guidance notes to help you to provide the correct information.

There are a number of exemptions to the requirement to give notifications, such as if the tree is dead or dangerous. The burden of proof that the work is exempt because the tree is dead or dangerous lies with the person carrying out the work. Anyone proposing to carry out work under this exemption is advised to contact the Planning Service.

Tree Preservation Orders

It is necessary to obtain our consent to undertake work to a tree subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). It is an offence to lop, top, fell or uproot a protected tree without consent. To apply for consent to carryout such work, please download and complete our Works to trees in a Conservation Area application form. Please refer to the Works to trees guidance notes to help provide the correct information.

To check whether a tree is covered by a TPO, please Contact us.

Removing hedgerows 

In 1997, regulations were introduced to control the removal, either in whole or in part, of certain hedgerows. This legislation does not apply to hedges around domestic gardens and does not seek to control hedges below a specified length. Certain activities, such as the provision of temporary emergency access and works authorised under other legislation, are exempt from the need to notify us. It is an offence to remove a controlled hedgerow without the necessary consent and fines of up to £5000 can be imposed by the Courts upon conviction.

To notify us that you intend to carry out works to a controlled hedgerow, please use our online Trees and High Hedges reporting form.

High hedges

You can find information about the control of high hedges in Part 8 of Legislation.gov.uk - Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.

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