A Tree Preservation Order is a Direction made by a Local Planning Authority that makes it an offence to fell, prune, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree without the Authority's permission. There are over 450 Tree Preservation Orders in Wychavon protecting trees which contribute to the amenity of the area.
Proposals for development in the vicinity of trees covered by Tree Preservation Orders will be assessed to ensure that there are no/minimal adverse impacts on the trees and their wider setting. Planning applications will be determined against policies in:
- the Communities and Local Government document - A guide to tree preservation procedures
- the Adopted Wychavon District Local Plan, in particular policy ENV8
- the Worcester Structure Plan, in particular policy CTC.5
- the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy
Why are Tree Preservation Orders made?
A TPO is made so that a tree(s) can not be removed or pruned without Wychavon District Council's permission. In this way the local tree population can be retained and managed for the benefit of everyone. If a tree is in a healthy and safe condition and offers good public visual amenity, for example it is clearly visible from a public highway and footpath then it can be protected by a TPO. This does not only apply to single trees but also to woodlands, groups and areas of trees.
Work to Protected Trees
If a tree(s) is the subject of a TPO you will need to make a formal application in writing to the Wychavon District Council for consent to carry out work. The necessary forms are below. They can be posted to you and also downloaded from this website.
Do I need permission to remove a dead or dangerous tree?
The simple answer is no. If a tree or any part of is in a dead, dying or dangerous condition then it is exempt from the TPO and Conservation Area legislation. However it is useful if you provide the Wychavon District Council with 5 days notice prior to any work so that we may deal with any calls that are often generated when a protected tree is felled. To prevent or abate an actionable nuisance (note: this is a legal definition of nuisance) is also exempt. To prevent confusion and avoid possible prosecution it is always advisable to consult with the Arboricultural Officer or take legal advice.
Conservation Areas regulations
The Conservation Area legislation requires you to give 6 weeks notice to the Wychavon District Council before you carry out any tree work. The exemptions are trees that are dead/dying/dangerous or trees that have a diameter of 75mm or less at 1.5m height. The 6 week notice period gives Wychavon District Council time to assess if the tree is worthy of TPO status.
Advice on tree planting and maintenance
For general tree advice, contact the Arboricultural Officer. We also have a selection of leaflets on tree planting, pruning etc that are free to the public. Other organisations that supply expert arboricultural advice are the Arboricultural Association.
- The Arboricultural Officer can also inspect trees situated on the public highway and footpath. This is carried out on behalf of the County Council who are the Highway Authority.
Advice on choosing a competent tree contractor:
Tree or arboricultural work can be dangerous and should only be undertaken by trained professionals (Tree surgeons or arborist). Badly done tree pruning can ruin the appearance and health and safety of a tree. Before you employ a tree contractor you should check the following information. Any reputable contractor will be happy to supply these details:
- Copies of the relevant public liability insurance. The contractor should have a
minimum of £2 million cover.
- Certificates of competence in chainsaw and other machinery use, tree climbing
and aerial rescue.
- site specific risk assessment for the site.
- Ask if they work to British tree work standards. The correct answer is BS3998.
- Ensure you have a written quotation detailing all works and costs. It is often prudent to get a least 2 quotes to compare prices.
Generally it is best to avoid contractors who go ‘door knocking' or leave leaflets saying they will call back later. Contractors who use terms such as ‘topping and lopping' are best avoided. These are dated tree pruning practices that are no longer used by modern arborist/tree surgeons.
Search for Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas
- To view Tree Works applications and notifications, use the Search for a planning application page.
- If you want a copy of a Tree Preservation Order – you can contact us with the address of the Order. A nominal photocopying charge may apply.
- To see if a Tree Preservation Order/s and Conservation Areas is on a property you are interested in, search using My Local Area (the search will open within a 100m radius).
Making an application for Tree Works
If you want to place a Tree Preservation Order on a tree, you should write in setting out the reasons and any details that you have on the species or size of the tree, and send a plan showing the location of the tree. We have eight weeks in which to make a decision. There is no charge for this service.
- Complete the Tree Works application form
Please note: whilst the reason for tree works is not mandatory under the regulations, we would encourage applicants to include such details in order for the Council to make a considered decision. Unfortunately, not knowing can create more work for the officer.
For further information:
The Heritage Team provides advice on and deals with all applications/ notifications related to protected trees. Where a development proposal involves trees the following may be required to accompany a planning application:
- A tree survey which plots trees and their canopy spreads
- A condition survey which assesses the condition of trees and makes proposals for their future management
- A tree constraints plan which calculates root protection areas for trees to be retained
- An arboricultural methods statement and tree protection plan which details necessary tree works and tree protection during construction
All of the above should be in accordance with British Standard number 5837:2005.
Call a Customer Service Advisor on 01386 565565
Natural Heritage Officer
The Land Registry – provide information on land ownership.