Tree Preservation Orders - What new amendments have been made?
Updated: Aug 30, 2018
The reason for the changes was to consolidate and streamline the TPO system. The new Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation)(England) Regulations 2012 came into force on 6th April 2012. The new regulations refer to all previous as well as future TPO's. Existing powers to make tree preservation orders when granting planning permission, or in the interests of amenity, remains unchanged. These changes do not alter the level of protection provided to trees.
Immediate protection - All new orders provide immediate provisional protection that lasts for six months and long-term protection once authorities confirm them after considering any objections or representations.
Informing interested parties - Local authorities will only need to send copies of the order to owners and occupiers of any adjoining land where they have a right to prune or fell the trees covered by the order. Authorities can notify others, but this is discretionary.
Exemptions - Consent is not required to carry out work to protected trees that are dead or dangerous, the new regulations omit "dying" from the exceptions. They also introduce an exemption for removing dead branches from a living tree.
Notification of intention to carry out exempted work - Tree owners have to give at least five working days written notice of proposed work on dead trees, unless there is an urgent risk to safety.
Consents - The power for local authorities to modify or revoke consent they had granted for specific work has been removed.
Default period for duration of consents - There is default period of two years for work on protected trees to be completed; however the local planning authority can vary this if appropriate.
Replacement trees - The new regulations remove the need for directions for replanting in woodland by enabling conditions to be used in all cases where replanting is required.
Compensation claims to the local planning authority for loss or damage arising from refusal of consent or conditions - The compensation framework for orders made on or after 2 August 1999 are extended to all tree preservation orders by removing the power to issue article 5 certificates. The same compensation framework therefore applies to all orders, irrespective of when they were made.