Tree preservation orders
Information on Tree Preservation Orders (protected trees)
If a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), you will need the council's consent to prune or fell it. You can now apply online or download the form for obtaining consent from the tree works application section.
You can find out if a tree is protected by a TPO or is within a conservation area by visiting the TPO and conservation area search page. If you are unsure please contact us for confirmation.
You can view all recent tree works applications by searching within the tree works register.
What types of tree can be protected?
At present there are about 750 TPOs in South Oxfordshire, and the Council issues about 30 new orders each year. All species of tree may be protected, from single trees to whole woodlands - but not managed hedges, bushes or shrubs.
How is a tree assessed as being suitable for a TPO?
Before a tree can be protected it must first be assessed by the local planning authority as being an important landscape feature offering significant amenity to the general public. Under government guidance this assessment takes into account factors such as a tree's visibility to the public, its condition, age and remaining life-expectancy, its function within the landscape (such as screening development or industry), its wildlife or historic value and ultimately its importance to the local environment. Trees usually need to be under an immediate or foreseeable threat to warrant protection. Overall government advice directs that if a tree's loss or removal would have a significant impact on the local landscape then the tree warrants protection.
How will I know when the council makes a TPO?
If you are the owner or occupier of the property, or are a neighbour, the council will write to you and send a copy of the new order.
Does an order come into effect immediately?
Yes, as soon as the TPO has been served the trees are immediately protected. If there are no objections received with 28 days from the date the order is served then the TPO will be confirmed and remain in place until such time as it is revoked.
Who will be consulted and who can object or support the new TPO?
Under the Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999 the Council must 'notify persons interested in land affected by the order'. This not only includes the land owner where the tree is located but also all adjoining landowners. There is no formal requirement to notify anyone else though the authority may at their discretion notify other interested parties such as the local Parish Council, Councillors, Residents' Associations, wildlife and nature groups etc. Anyone who wishes may object or support the making of a new TPO but they must do so within 28 days of the order being served.
Is the council responsible for protected trees?
No, the owner retains responsibility and duty of care to the public for the tree's condition, safety and any damage the tree may cause. The only difference is that the planning authority's permission is required before carrying out any remedial work.
Last reviewed: 24 - 01 - 2017