PPS 9: The Enforcement of Planning Control
Additional planning controls and enforcement: Trees
13.1 Under Article 65(1) of the 1991 Planning Order the Department, where it is considered expedient in the interests of amenity, has the power to protect trees or woodland by making a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). The Planning (Tree Preservation Order) Regulations 1973 set out the form and procedure for making such orders and also indicate the limited circumstances when trees that are protected by a TPO may be cut down or pruned.
13.2 It is an offence, in contravention of a tree preservation order, to cut down or wilfully destroy a tree or to top or lop a tree in such a manner that is likely to result in its destruction or to otherwise contravene the provisions of a tree preservation order without the prior written consent of the Department. Consequently anyone considering carrying out works which may affect trees protected by a TPO is strongly advised that it is in their own interests to discuss their proposals with the Department at an early stage. Where any person contravenes the provisions of a TPO, the Department will normally pursue court action. On summary conviction that person is liable to a fine with the potential for continuing daily fines.
13.3 Where the written consent of the Department is obtained to undertake works affecting trees which are protected by a TPO this may contain conditions to secure the replanting of replacement trees. Where it appears that such conditions have not been met the Department may issue a notice, at any time within four years from the date of the alleged failure to comply with the said conditions, requiring the replanting, within a specified time period, of such trees as are considered appropriate. Where any person fails to comply with such a notice they are guilty of an offence and the Department will normally pursue court action. On summary conviction that person is liable to a fine with the potential for continuing daily fines.