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Trees and Hedges

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

What is a TPO?

TPOs protect individual trees or groups of trees which are important to a local area. They may make an area visually more attractive or may be of historical significance. The order may cover anything from a single tree to woodlands. Hedgerow trees can be protected, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. TPOs can’t be used to protect every tree in a neighbourhood nor stop approved building development or infrastructure improvements.

Anyone who intends to carry out work to a tree that is protected by a TPO must apply for, and receive consent before carrying out the work.

Government guidance on Tree Tree Preservation Orders and Trees in Conservation Areas

How do I find out if a tree has a TPO?

You can find out if a tree has a TPO or is protected by growing in a Conservation area by using the Councils "In My Area Map"

To view Tree Preservation Orders, please ensure you select BOTH “Tree Preservation Orders Areas” (Groups, Woodlands and Area designations) and “Tree Preservation Orders” (Individual Trees). To view information about a TPO, simply click on the green square icon or the black hatched area, to see the TPO reference number, name and location.

To views Conservation Areas click on the Conservation area layer. To view information about the Conservation Area, click on the green area.

Find out if a tree has a Tree Preservation Order or is in a Conservation area

IMPORTANT:
This mapping shows all TPOs made by the council, including those orders which have been revoked or replaced. As such, some of the protected trees shown on the map may no longer be present and this map should be used as a guide only. The position and information on our maps is indicative only and not legally binding and the legal order takes the legal precedence. If you have any queries please contact planning@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the impact this has had on the ability of council staff to work in the office, we are only able to provide copies of Tree Preservation Orders if we hold a digital copy. If you'd like a digital copy of the TPO, please call us on 01832 74200 with the TPO reference number. The current charge for copies is £15.68, and payment can be made by credit or debit card when you call.

When you are buying a property, the presence of a TPO or a conservation area should be highlighted by the search of the Local Land Charges register.

How do I apply to carry out works to a tree protected by a TPO?

You need to submit a Tree Works Application Form. There are no fees required for these applications.

You are encouraged to seek the advice of an arboriculturalist before making an application.

The Tree Work Guidance Notes and Checklist will help you to complete your application.

Submit a Tree Works Application Online

If you would rather submit your application by post, please download and complete the "Tree Works: Trees in Conservation area/ subject to TPOs" application form and send it to:

Planning Services, East Northamptonshire Council, Cedar Drive, Thrapston, Northamptonshire, NN14 4LZ.

Once registered, your application will be part of the public register and will be accessible via the council’s planning applications system. In certain circumstances, your application may be sent to neighbours, Town and parish Councils and other relevant third parties for comment. You should draw our attention to any sensitive private information which you do not wish to be made available in this way.

It takes up to eight weeks for us to make a decision on a TPO application.

Dead or Dangerous trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order, or in a Conservation Area   

Unless there is an immediate risk of serious harm, anyone proposing to carry out work on a tree in a Conservation Area on the grounds that it is dead or dangerous must give the authority 5 days notice before carrying out the proposed work. Where such a tree requires urgent work to remove an immediate risk of serious harm, written notice is required as soon as practicable after the work becomes necessary.

How to request a new Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

If you're concerned about the retention of a tree or group of trees, please check if the tree(s) are already:

  • Protected via a conservation area
  • Protected by a TPO, or
  • Part of a planning application. 

You can carry out the above checks by using our In My Area (arcgis.com) map.

If you still think that the tree(s) are at risk and they do not have statutory protection you can request that the trees are assessed for a TPO. We will need the following information:

  • Your contact details, name, address, e-mail, phone
  • The precise location of the tree(s) and the address or location they stand in
  • Identification of what species they are if you know
  • An indication of where the trees can be seen from with photographs
  • Information as to why the tree(s) need protecting and why they are special to the neighbourhood or community

What happens once the information has been submitted?

We will consider the merit of protecting the trees by carrying out an objective assessment based on their contribution to amenity and impact on the local landscape. The assessment is carried out in accordance with Government advice contained in Tree preservation orders and trees in conservation areas. The Government advises Local Planning Authorities to develop ways of assessing the amenity value of trees for protection in a structured and consistent way.

  • The evaluation will consider the following criteria:
  • The condition of the tree(s) and an assessment of future life expectancy.
  • An assessment of the potential threat to the tree/s and whether it is expedient to make a Tree Preservation Order.
  • A Landscape appraisal will assess visual prominence, landscape setting, presence of other trees and function and suitability of the tree(s) to the site.
  • Future benefits the tree might provide, growth potential, age and assessment of wildlife habitat.

All new requests for TPOs may take up to 12 weeks to be considered, depending on the likelihood of threat to the tree(s) and their landscape and amenity value. If the threat to the tree/s is imminent we can act very quickly.  

How do I get a copy of a TPO?

Please call our customer service team on 03001263000 with the TPO reference number. The current charge for copies is £15.68, and payment can be made by credit or debit card when you call.

What happens if I do the work without permission?

If you prune a tree without consent you may be prosecuted and fined up to £2,500. If you destroy a tree without consent you may be fined up to £20,000.

More information

  1. Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) (you are here)
  2. Trees in a Conservation area
  3. Hedgerows and High Hedges
  4. Trees and Hedges - Frequently asked questions