Many trees in the Borough are protected and you generally need our consent to carry out work on them.
Details of TPOs in force are available at the Civic Centre, or by contacting our Customer Services Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0208 891 1411.
If you are purchasing property, make sure you search the local land charges register which should reveal the existence of a TPO, or whether your property is in a conservation area. Make sure your solicitor tells you if any trees are protected.
In general, if the diameter of a protected tree’s trunk is greater than 7.5cm when measured at 1.5m above the ground, you will need to complete a tree work application in order to carry out any work on it.
In a few circumstances permission is not needed. These include:
Where you are required to tell us about proposed work, we recommend you get professional advice from a qualified arborist before contacting us.
You may need to plant replacement trees. If you are in any doubt about your obligations, please check with us.
Please be specific about the proposed work when you make your application. We often have to send forms back because they do not contain enough detail, which can waste a lot of time. The Planning Portal website has guidance on how to complete the tree works form (pdf, 184 KB).
We strongly recommend that you get advice from a tree surgeon who can provide you with a professional specification of the works needed. The Arboricultural Association website has a list of approved contractors for tree works.
Applications take up to 8 weeks to be processed.
If a tree in a conservation area is already protected by a tree preservation order, normal tree preservation order procedures apply. If it is not covered by a Tree Preservation Order, you must submit a tree works application form(pdf, 266KB) and notify us by letter or email at least six weeks before the work starts. This gives us an opportunity to consider protecting the tree with a Tree Preservation Order.
If your application to carry out work on a protected tree is refused, or you object to the conditions we impose, you can make an appeal in writing within 28 days of receiving the decision.
Appeals are normally decided without a formal hearing, on the basis of written statements followed by a site visit. Both you and we, as the local planning authority, have the right instead to a public local inquiry or hearing.
The Secretary of State may allow or dismiss the appeal, or vary the original decision.
If you deliberately destroy a tree, or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if found guilty. The Crown Court will consider any financial gain you may have made from the offence, when deciding the fine, which could be unlimited.
For other offences you could be fined up to £2,500.
You will normally have to plant a replacement tree if the tree was cut down or destroyed.
For tree enquiries, contact our Customer Services Team.
Telephone: 0208 891 1411
Our office hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Outside these hours for emergencies such as fallen trees, call Careline on 0208 744 2442.