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What is a TPO and what does it mean for you and your trees?

Updated: Sep 18, 2023


Managing TPOs on your behalf - experts in tree surgery in Essex and Kent

A Tree Preservation Order, or a TPO, is a legal designation that protects specific trees or woodlands from being cut down, uprooted, topped, lopped, damaged, or destroyed without gaining the right permissions from the local planning authority.


TPOs are issued to safeguard trees which are considered important – and there can be many reasons such as their visual amenity, historical significance, wildlife habitat, or contribution to the local environment.


Who applies a TPO and what can they cover?

The decision to make a Tree Preservation Order is usually made by your local planning authority, after a full consultation is carried out with the owner of the land where the tree is located.


They are applied under Section 198 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 and breaching one of these orders can result in a £20,000, or more fine.


A TPO is usually just for one individual tree, but in rarer cases it can apply to a whole woodland, known as a blanket TPO. These orders do not cover shrubs or hedgerows.


Why is a TPO applied?

Your Local Planning Authority will take into account a number of factors when making their decision to impose a TPO, including the tree's contribution to the local landscape, its rarity, and whether it is part of a group of trees that form an important feature.


What if you have a tree on your property that has a TPO?

If you have a tree on your land that is subject to a Tree Preservation Order, you must check the terms of the order before you carry out any work on it.


If you are unsure as to whether any of your trees do have TPOs you can check on the GOV.UK website – by entering your post code you will be directed to your Local Authority’s page that relates to tree preservation orders.


When looking to carry out any work that could damage the protected tree, such as pruning, felling, lopping or uprooting the tree, no matter how minor, you will need to apply for permission from the local planning authority.


How do you apply for permission to fell or work on a tree protected by a TPO?

To undertake any work on a protected tree, you will need to submit a Tree Work Application Form to the LPA, along with any relevant supporting documentation. The LPA will then assess your application and decide whether or not to grant permission.


Helping you navigate the process.

As experts in our field, OTS have the knowledge and experience in handling TPO protected trees. We can offer you advice and guidance on the best approach for you and your property.


Expert Tree Surgeons in Kent & Essex - OTS

When working with us, once you have accepted our quote we will manage the TPO application process for you, sourcing and providing all the materials needed from site assessments to sketches and maps of the grounds to secure the right permissions.


Talk to us today about all your tree needs : 0800 145 52 62


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