A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an Order made by a Council in respect of a tree(s) because the tree is considered to bring amenity value to the surrounding area. The order makes it an offence to cut down, uproot, prune, lop or damage the tree in question without first obtaining the Council’s consent. A TPO can apply to a single tree, a group of trees or a woodland.
The Council must give notice of the making of a TPO and will consider any objections to it before making the decision whether to confirm it, to confirm it subject to modifications or to not confirm it.
Anyone who wishes to fell or carry out work to a tree protected by a TPO must apply to the Council to obtain permission. That person does not have to be the tree owner but they must state the reasons for making the application, the works required and make it clear to which tree the application relates.
If an application is refused, or allowed subject to conditions, or if the Council fails to decide the application within 2 months, the applicant has a right of appeal to the Secretary of State under the provisions in regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012.
If any protected tree is removed, uprooted or destroyed in contravention of a TPO it is the duty of the landowner to plant another tree of an appropriate size and species, at the same place, as soon as he/she reasonably can. If it appears to the relevant Council that the landowner has failed to replace the felled tree, or if any replacement conditions attached to a permission to fell a tree are not complied with, that Council has powers under section 207 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) to serve a tree replacement notice (TRN) on the owner of the land.
A person upon whom a TRN has been served has a right of appeal but we must receive the appeal before the notice takes effect. This is an absolute time limit. The Secretary of State has no discretion to accept late appeals.