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Tree preservation orders
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are
administered by Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) (e.g. a borough,
district or unitary council or a national park authority) and are
made to protect trees that bring significant amenity benefit to the
local area. This protection is particularly important where trees
are under threat.
All types of tree, but not hedges, bushes or
shrubs, can be protected, and a TPO can protect anything from a
single tree to all trees within a defined area or woodland. Any
species can be protected, but no species is automatically protected
by a TPO.
A TPO is a written order, which in general,
makes it a criminal offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully
damage or wilfully destroy a tree protected by that order, or to
cause or permit such actions, without the LPA’s permission. Anyone
found guilty of such an offence is liable, if convicted in the
Magistrates Court, to a fine of up to £20,000. In serious cases the
case may be dealt with in the Crown Court, where an unlimited fine
can be imposed. You can find out more about TPOs on the
Planning Portal website.
To make an application to carry out tree works
you will need to complete an application form and submit it to
Medway Council. The form can either be submitted through the
Portal or directly to Medway Council. You might also find it
helpful to take a look at the
guidance notes available on the Planning Portal and seek the
advice of a tree surgeon prior to making an application. The
Arboricultural Association approved Contractors and Medway
Trader Scheme will help you find suitable contractors.
Alternatively you may feel it would be worthwhile discussing your
proposals with Medway Council, who welcomes the opportunity to give
pre-application advice before you complete the application form,
but there is a charge for this service.
Medway Council is committed to fulfilling its
duty to protect trees and woodlands by making TPOs and controlling
any work carried out on those trees, but recognises that there will
be occasions where the pruning or removal of protected trees is
justified. When reaching a decision on each and every TPO
application for works, the Council will take account of advice
found on the
Planning Portal. When the Council decide to refuse consent the
reasons are detailed in the decision notice and the applicant is
provided with details of how to appeal the decision.
form should be completed for further information (such as
whether or not a particular tree is protected by a TPO), for
help with obtaining copies of TPO documents, or to
request blank paper copies of the application form. If
you believe someone is undertaking unauthorised work on a protected
tree, please report
the matter to Medway Council who will investigate the case. It
is vital that you provide as much information as possible,
including details of the people undertaking the works.