Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

Trees Section (trees.planning@kirklees.gov.uk) Last updated - August 2011

Find Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

Details of Tree Preservation Orders are available for inspection at the council's planning office.

An official search of the local land charges register can also be made before you purchase a property, which should reveal the existence of a Tree Preservation Order (or whether your property is in a Conservation Area). Make sure your solicitor tells you if any trees are protected.

About Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

  • Tree Preservation Orders make it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree without the planning authority's permission.
  • They can be made on all types and species, including hedgerow trees, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. The High Court has stated that "a tree is anything which ordinarily one would call a tree."
  • They can cover anything from a single tree to groups of trees and woodlands.
  • The owner remains responsible for the trees, their condition and any damage they may cause - but the council's permission is usually required before carrying out work on them.

Report unauthorised tree work

  • Land owners or contractors carrying out tree work. will have written evidence of consent.
  • Report unauthorised tree work:
  • If the works are ongoing, report it to us as urgent - an officer may be able to attend quickly enough to prevent further work taking place.

Ask for a Tree Preservation Order to be made

  • Contact us, giving your name and address, the location of the trees (a sketch map showing the position of the trees, including named roads and building numbers is also useful) and the reasons why you think they should be protected.
  • If the Forestry Commission has given aid under a forestry grant scheme, a Tree Preservation Order can only be made with the commission's permission.
  • Before a Tree Preservation Order can be made for trees on Crown Land, we must seek permission from the relevant authority. Crown Land includes land belonging to government departments or land held for the Queen by a government department.

New Tree Preservation Orders

  • We send a copy of the Tree Preservation Order to the owner and other interested parties.
  • The order does not become valid until it is received by the owner.
  • The order is normally made without recourse to the land owner. This is so they don't know in advance and fell the trees before receiving the order.
  • Objections may be made for 28 days after an order is served.
  • Discussions may take place for up to 6 months between the council and the tree owner to agree any amendments.
  • Confirmation of the order takes place automatically after 28 days if no objections are made, or within the 6 month period.
  • After confirmation, no further alterations to the order are possible.

Emergency orders

  • We can choose to make an emergency order which comes into effect immediately.
  • Emergency orders continue for six months, or until they is confirmed, whichever comes first.
  • When we confirm the order we can modify it, for example by excluding some of the trees.

Objecting to or supporting a new Tree Preservation Order

  • Contact us within 28 days saying why and giving details of the relevant trees.
  • We take comments into account when we decide whether to confirm the order.
  • Objections are considered and efforts made to negotiate a solution.
  • If negotiations are unsuccessful, the objection will be placed before the appropriate planning sub-committee, and elected members will decide the matter. They may overturn the Tree Preservation Order, request that it be modified in some way or confirm it as served.

Working on protected trees

Get permission to work on protected trees


Exceptions

  • Cutting down trees in accordance with one of the Forestry Commission's grant schemes, or where the commission has granted a felling licence.
    • Forestry Commission: Tree Felling - Getting Permission
    • If a licence is required and the trees are covered by a Tree Preservation Order:
      • The Forestry Commission will deal with your application in consultation with the council.
      • They will first give notice to the council before granting a licence.
      • The council may object to the proposal. If it does, the application will be referred for decision to the Secretary of State.
  • Felling or pruning a tree which is dying, dead, dangerous.
    • Give us five days notice before carrying out the work, except in an absolute emergency.
    • You must demonstrate that the tree was dead, dying or dangerous and be able to prove it in court.
    • Photographs, written statements by a professional person, retained sections of timber or dead branchwood may be produced as proof.

    • You will normally be required to plant a replacement tree.
    • More information:
  • At the request of certain organisations specified in the order.
  • Felling or pruning a tree which is directly in the way of development that is about to start for which detailed planning permission has been granted.
  • Trees in a commercial orchard, or pruning fruit trees in accordance with good horticultural practice.
  • Felling or pruning trees to prevent or control a legal nuisance (you may find it helpful to check first with a solicitor).

Working on protected trees without permission

  • You could be fined up to £20,000 for each offence if you cut down, uproot or wilfully destroy, wilfully damage, top or lop a tree in a manner likely to destroy it.
  • In determining the amount of the fine, the court will take account of the actual, or likely, financial benefit arising from the offence.
  • You could be fined up to £2,500 or other offences.
  • You will normally have to plant a replacement tree if the tree was removed or destroyed.

Planting replacement trees

You have to replant:

  • if you cut down or destroy a protected tree.
  • if you have felled a tree in breach of a Tree Preservation Order, or because the tree was dying, dead or dangerous.
  • if the council gives you permission to cut down a protected tree but makes replanting a condition.
  • in most cases where the Forestry Commission grants a felling licence.

The council has legal powers to ensure that you plant a replacement tree when required.

Claiming compensation

To claim

Contact us within 12 months of our decision (or the decision of the Secretary of State if you appealed).


If consent has been refused, or granted with conditions

  • You can seek compensation from the council for any loss or damage.
  • You cannot make a claim where the council has issued a certificate saying either:
    • that the refusal or condition is in the interests of good forestry, or
    • that the trees or woodland have an outstanding or special amenity value.
  • You can appeal to the Secretary of State against such a certificate.

Where a felling licence application has been refused by the Forestry Commission

  • You may get compensation from the commission under the relevant forestry legislation.

If you have had to replant woodland

  • Compensation is only available if the Forestry Commission will not give a grant for the replanting because it would not be in accordance with good forestry practice.

Further information

Trees contacts

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), trees in conservation areas and tree work applications

To speak to an officer you must make an appointment. To make an appointment please contact Kirklees Direct on 01484 414746 or email .

Computers are available in Huddersfield Customer Service Centre: opening times 9-5 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 10-5 on Thursdays.


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