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Trees in Conservation Areas

Trees are valued features of our towns and villages and aside from the many services which trees provide to our communities and to the environment, trees also have a significant role in complimenting and enhancing the character, history and architectural form of those areas which have been designated with Conservation Area status.

Local Planning Authorities (LPA) have a duty to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of Conservation Areas and trees are a key factor and constraint in that role. Therefore prior to undertaking any tree work within a Conservation Area you are legally obliged to submit a six week ‘Notice of Intent’ to the LPA in accordance with section 211 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

Failure to provide the prior Notice to the council in accordance with section 211 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 may leave you liable to prosecution.

There are exemptions in the Act which may allow the owner of the trees to carry some work to the tree(s) without consent. One such exemption is the removal of dead, damaged or dangerous trees or their parts. Should you consider this exemption may apply you should contact a qualified arborist or contact us.

A further exemption worthy of note relates to the size of the tree. If the stem diameter of the tree, at 1.5m from ground level, is less than 75mm then there is no requirement for you to provide any ‘Notice’ to the council. If in doubt, contact us

The LPA is the only body able to prevent the undertaking of a six week Notice of Intent’. Should the LPA consider the proposed works to be detrimental to either a tree of high amenity value or the character and appearance of the Conservation Area then the LPA may prevent the works from being undertaken by serving a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on the tree concerned.

The simplest way to submit a section 211 ‘Notification’ for works to trees located within a designated Conservation Area is online via the Planning Portal (external link). Registration is straight forward and you can complete your application form, upload supporting documents such as maps, photos. There is currently no charge for applying for works to trees located within a Conservation Area.

Most six week notifications are now submitted online but notices can also be sent to us by post.