Tree Protection and Preservation

Tree Preservation Orders

Trees make a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the District. Those trees which make a valuable contribution to amenity may be protected by the use of Tree Preservation Orders. This form of protection may be applied to individual trees and woodlands.

It is an offence to fell or carry out surgery on such trees without the consent of the Council. If a tree is dead, dying or dangerous, then formal consent is not required but the Council must be given 5 days prior notice. In the case of works to a dangerous tree the works should be carried out, to make the tree safe, and the Council notified as soon as possible after the completion of the works (to avoid confusion photographs showing the condition of the tree should be taken if possible). Replacement trees will normally be required if a protected tree is felled.

It is a mandatory requirement to submit applications to a local authority for works to TPO protected trees on a standard application form which is used by all local authorities in England, either completed by hand by using our application form and sent to the authority, or completed on-line and submitted electronically via the Planning Portal. If permission is refused the applicant has the right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, who then make a final decision.

When Planning Permission is granted for a development it overrides a Tree Preservation Order where it is necessary to fell protected tree(s) to implement that permission. However, this does NOT apply to development to be constructed under permitted development rights.

Trees in Conservation Areas

Those trees in Conservation Areas which have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm, at a height of 1.5m from the ground, may not be felled or lopped unless six weeks written notice has been given to the Council. Whilst it is acceptable to give notice to a local authority for works to trees in Conservation Areas on a standard application form, either completed by hand and sent to the authority, or completed on-line and submitted electronically via the Planning Portal, it is not compulsory to apply in this way. A letter describing the tree species, location and extent of the proposed work (i.e. felling/crown thinning/removal of lower branches) will be acceptable and sufficient. If the Council considers that the tree(s) make a significant contribution to the appearance of the area and that the proposed works are inappropriate it can make a Tree Preservation Order to stop the works proceeding (see above: tree preservation orders).

Felling Licenses

A Felling License is required if an owner wishes to fell more than five cubic metres of timber per calendar quarter - these are issued by the Forestry Commission. The Commission consults the Council on applications for Licenses in most cases. When appropriate, the Council often negotiates revisions if visual amenity is adversely affected.

New Planting

The Council promotes a tree planting scheme by grant aiding Parish and Town Councils throughout the District. This is achieved by the use of Tree Wardens who, among other things, identify planting sites, chose the species, bid for the grant aid, carry out the planting and subsequently maintain it. In this way many new trees are planted each year.

Countryside Hedgerows

Hedgerows are distinctive features of the countryside in the District and are the most traditional type of field boundaries in many areas. They form an integral part of the district's rural 'feel' and contribute positively to the character and interest of the landscape. It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission.

Prior to the removal of a hedgerow six weeks prior notification must be given to the Council using The Planning Portal. An assessment of the hedgerow will then be made against set criteria to determine if it is important in terms of its archaeological, historical, wildlife or landscape value.

If the hedgerow is not 'important' permission will be given for its removal, however if the hedgerow satisfies the criteria under which it is considered 'important' a Hedgerow Retention Notice will be issued to protect it.

There is a right of appeal against a Hedgerow Retention Notice that can be made to the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State, who then makes a final decision.

For information about trees on Tendring District Council land please contact Leisure Services on 01255 686677

For information about trees on road verges and adjacent to the road please contact Essex County Highways on 01206 838600

If you have any queries or comments regarding trees in our district please contact our Principal Tree and Landscape Officer, Clive Dawson.

Useful links

Planning Practice Guidance - Tree Preservation Orders and Trees in Conservation Areas

Last updated on: 20/10/2017 - 12:43