Before undertaking any work on trees within a designated Conservation Area a notice must be submitted to the local authority. This notice gives the LPA 6 weeks in which to consider the work that is proposed. They may decide to create a TPO if they feel the work would be detrimental and that the trees are of sufficiently high amenity value.
Alternatively, the LPA may opt to take no action and after the 6 week notice period has passed the work can proceed. If the work has not been done within a two year period, a new notice will need to be submitted.
Trees which are below 7.5 cm girth measured at 1.5 metres above ground level can be removed or worked on without any requirement to give notice. Also trees below 10 cm girth measured at the same height can be removed if this is part of a thinning operation undertaken for the benefit of surrounding trees.
Planning Conditions on Trees and Hedges
The LPA is able to making planning conditions on trees and hedges. This is usually done in conjunction with planning consent for development or other building work. These conditions are generally designed to maintain trees and hedges for a limited period whilst new planting and landscaping matures. Most planning conditions of this type expire after 5 years but this can vary.
Unlike with TPO’s a planning condition can be applied to hedges and may require a hedge to be maintained at a specified height. Removal of trees and hedges subject to a planning condition may be allowed by the LPA in certain circumstances, for example if other planting is proposed or if new planting has established well.