Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)
The Local Planning Authority (LPA) has the
power to make an Order to preserve trees or woodlands in their area
in the interests of amenity. These Orders are known as Tree
Preservation Orders (TPOs.)
A TPO prohibits the felling, lopping or pruning
of trees (or any other wilful damage to them) without our
Policy on making TPOs
The Council's policy is to make TPOs in order
to ensure the retention of visually important trees in urban and
rural locations, particularly where they are threatened by
development. Consent to prune or remove trees protected by a TPO
will not be given unless the Council is satisfied that it would be
necessary to overcome a serious safety hazard, nuisance or
detriment to local character, or is in the interests of the health
of the tree(s). Where removal is permitted, appropriate
replacements will be required (Policy 99 of the Dacorum Borough
Local Plan 1991-2011).
Procedure for making TPOs
The Council may make TPOs without notice or
When a TPO is made, a copy will be available
for inspection at the Council’s Offices. The TPO will be served on
persons with an interest in the land and affected by the Order e.g.
where branches overhang a boundary.
Once the Order has been made there will be a
period of at least 28 days for any objections to the TPO to be
If objections are raised, the TPO is referred
to the Appeals Committee – Tree Preservation Order. The Committee
will take into account any representations received before deciding
whether to confirm it or not. TPOs can be confirmed with or without
If no objections are raised the TPO is normally
confirmed by Officers.
Applications to do works to TPO trees
Once a tree is protected by a TPO, the owner
must make an application for consent to carry out works to that
tree. Consent is required for all pruning or felling that is not
exempt from requiring permission (see below). These applications
are dealt with on their merits. The LPA always takes expert advice
from the Council’s Trees and Woodlands Team. Follow this link
for application forms for works to
trees affected by a TPO.
When consent is granted to fell a TPO tree, the
Council can impose a condition that requires a suitable replacement
to be planted. Pruning works can also be controlled by a
If consent is refused an appeal can be
submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government. Details of how to appeal against a refusal or a
condition are included with the decision notice.
All works to TPO trees should be carried out in
accordance with British Standard 3998: 1989 "Recommendations for
Tree Work". A list of tree surgeons is available from the Trees and
Woodlands Team on request.
Exemptions from requiring consent
Normally, if a tree is dead, then the tree can
be removed without formal consent, but please check with
one of the tree officers first, giving at least 5 days
Also, removal of dead branches and twigs
(deadwooding) does not require consent but, again, you
should check with one of the tree officers first, giving at
least 5 days notice.
Except in an emergency (e.g. clear evidence of
root ball movement) you must give at least 5 days
notice of intention to carry out the above. It is in
your interests to do this as you could be prosecuted if the
authority thinks you have carried out unauthorised work.
Unauthorised works to TPO trees
Please remember that it is a criminal offence
to undertake works to or fell a TPO tree without consent. Fines can
be up to £20,000 in the Magistrates’ Court or in serious cases,
unlimited in the Crown Court.