Tree Preservation Orders

Tree Preservation Orders

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a written order made by a local planning authority (the council), which, in general, makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree protected by that order without the authority’s permission.

There are over 300 Tree Preservation Orders designated in the borough, which range from protection of individual tree specimens to protection of groups and larger woodland designations. The council chooses to protect trees by the designation of Tree Preservation Order because those trees make an important contribution to our environment and have been valued for their visual contribution to the street scene and community.

You must seek permission from the council if you want to undertake works to a tree protected by Tree Preservation Order.

Further information and advice on tree preservation procedures is available in the document below.

Trees in conservation areas

In addition to individual TPOs, trees that lie within designated conservation areas are also protected.

Before working on a tree in a conservation area, you must give the council six weeks notice in writing of your intention to carry out work. You should include details of the exact location of the tree, usually indicated on a plan, along with details of the species and exactly what work you wish to do.

There is no need to notify your intention to work on trees that:

  • have a diameter of less than 75mm measured at 1.5m above ground
  • have a diameter of less than 100mm measured at 1.5m above ground and are being pruned or felled to help the growth of other trees


The council has a dedicated Tree Officer who works in the Development Management team. The Tree Officer deals with both applications for works to protected trees and trees in conservation areas, and advising on planning applications that potentially affect trees in or around prospective development sites. You can contact the Tree Officer on 01246 959702 if you wish to discuss a potential application or require any pre-application advice.

If you wish to make an application for works to a protected tree (either TPO or conservation area), the application forms and guidance notes are available to download below.

If our documents are not accessible to you, you can request a different format here.
Protected Trees: A Guide to Tree Preservation Procedures PDF (PDF 57 KB)
Application Form for Tree Preservation Order or Work to Trees in Conservation Area PDF (PDF 623 KB)
Guidance Notes: Tree Preservation Order or Work to Trees in Conservation Area PDF (PDF 104 KB)

Last updated on 12 December 2023