PPS 2: Planning and Nature Conservation
Nature Conservation and Development Control: Trees and Woodlands
64. Trees are of immense importance, both as habitats and by providing a strong visual element which helps create a varied, interesting and attractive landscape. The Department will seek to protect trees, groups of trees, and woodland areas of particular importance because of their nature conservation value or their contribution to the amenity of a particular locality.
65. Careful consideration will be given to the potential impact of proposed development upon trees. Landowners and developers will be encouraged to retain existing trees, where practicable, and to plant additional trees. Wherever possible, existing trees, woodlands and important hedgerows will be protected by the imposition of conditions on the grant of planning permission. Opportunities will also be taken to secure new tree planting in development schemes. Where development involves the loss of trees, permission will normally be conditional on a replanting scheme with trees of appropriate numbers, species and size.
66. When considering the making of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), the Department will not only have regard to the amenity and habitats of the area being considered for protection but also to the cost to the Department if a claim is subsequently made.
67. Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) may be made by the Department to:
- reinforce a condition, for the preservation of existing trees;
- protect trees of outstanding natural beauty or of special value to a particular area, even though no direct threat exists to them;
- ensure the retention of trees, not protected by a condition of a planning permission which are threatened and whose loss would significantly lower amenity; and
- protect a woodland area of amenity value, by securing the replacement of trees which have been felled with the Department's consent.