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Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas Planning Applications

Devon Tree Surgery – Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas? Unsure about how your property may be affected? Let us deal with the hassle and paperwork for you.

Planning Apps ImageEast Devon Tree Care have plenty of experience in dealing with planning applications for tree work. We are able to check the current status of trees within your property for you. We are able to produce tree location plans and necessary documentation for any qualifying works and submit your application online via the Planning Portal service. Where required, we are also able to carry out tree inspections and surveys to provide supporting evidence for your application, chargeable at our normal consultancy rates.

Tree Preservation Orders

A tree preservation order (TPO) is an order made by a local planning authority, making it an offence to cut down, lop, uproot, damage or destroy a tree without their permission. If you want to undertake any work to a tree with a preservation order on it we can complete and submit an application form to your local authority describing the work to be carried out and the reason(s) for the work. Your local authority have the right to prosecute offenders and fines of up to £20,000 for each tree may be imposed by the Magistrates Court in the event of them being convicted of an offence if this is not done so. If proceedings are instituted in the Crown Court fines are unlimited. There is also a duty to replace any tree removed without permission. It may take up to 8 weeks for a decision notice to be issued by the Local Authority in response to a protected tree planning application.

Trees in a conservation area

In addition, any proposal to cut down, or work on a tree in a designated conservation area, regardless of whether the tree has a preservation order requires at least 6 weeks notice to the planning services, using the same application process. This generally applies to all trees that have a diameter of 7.5cm diameter or more, measured at 1.5m above ground level. It is not necessary to obtain approval to do work to trees that are dead, dying or dangerous; however, it is always best to check with the Tree Office of your local authority before undertaking any work.

Third Party Owned Trees

If you are cutting back overhanging trees owned by a neighbour you will still need Local Authority approval if the tree is covered by a TPO or in a Conservation Area.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a tree has a TPO or is in a conservation area, please contact your local authority who will be able to confirm the information for you, or give us a ring and we can contact the local authority for you.


Decision notices and new Tree Preservation Orders can be appealed if necessary. Please click here for further information.