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Trees in conservation areas

Trees in conservation areas which are already protected by a Tree Preservation Order are subject to the normal TPO controls.

Trees in a conservation area that are not also protected by a TPO are protected by the provisions in section 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

These provisions require people to notify the local planning authority, using a ‘section 211 notice’ six weeks before carrying out certain work on such trees, unless an exemption applies. The work may go ahead before the end of the six week period if the local planning authority advises that they have no objections. This notice period gives the authority an opportunity to consider whether to make a TPO on the trees.

The Department of Communities and Local Government have produced a leaflet called Protected trees: A guide to tree preservation procedures  written for the benefit of tree owners, the general public and amenity groups, and answers some one of the most common questions. (Question 18 deals with trees in a Conservation Area),

Exceptional circumstances

There are certain circumstances where written permission from the Council may not be necessary before undertaking works.

These include;

  • Making a tree safe if it is an imminent threat to people or property
  • Removing deadwood or a dead tree

If the owner is in any doubt on these matters they should check with the Council.

If you consider the work to be exempt you are still required to give 5 days notice to the local planning authority, although the forms should not be used but rather notice should be given by email or written note. You should supply photographic evidence to support your view that the work is exempt.

Application for works to trees in conservation areas
Guidance notes