Trees and hedges
Trees and hedgerows are important for both the built and rural environment. There are a number of safeguards within the planning legislation that may affect an owner's ability to do works to trees and hedgerows. They may be subject to planning conditions attached to a previous grant of planning permission that requires their retention, they may be in a conservation area or they may be the subjects of a Tree Preservation Order. Separate regulations exist in respect of hedgerows.
There are no powers available to the Council to deal with disputes/issues between neighbours regarding trees situated on their property. Under common law, neighbours can cut back any overhanging branches etc. to their boundary. Works to trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order or that are situated within a Conservation Area will require consent from the Local Planning Authority, see further details below. Any damage caused by trees to neighbouring properties is a civil matter for which we would advise independent legal advice is sough. Further information on hedges, trees and boundaries can be found onthe Government webpage dealing with neighbour disputes.
Subject to planning permission
When planning permission is granted for development conditions might be added that requires the submission of and implementation of a landscaping scheme. In such circumstances the trees planted will, normally, be required to be retained. If work is proposed to trees or other planting covered by a condition, then the written consent of the council is required first.
Trees in conservation areas
Proposals to top, lop, fell or uproot trees in conservation areas require the consent from us. Prior to such work being undertaken you should tell us about your intentions, confirming where the tree(s) is, what work you wish to undertake and why. In cases of felling you should comment as to whether or not you intend any re-planting.
You can find out more and apply via the Planning Portal.
Benefit will come from submitting an independent arboricultural appraisal of the work intended.
Following receipt of your application, the council will, within six weeks, either confirm acceptance of the work or if they object will make the trees the subject of a Tree Preservation Order. If no decision is received within six weeks, then consent is gained by default.
Tree Preservation Orders
A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) gives statutory protection to individual trees, groups of trees and woodlands. TPOs can be made by the council when they consider the tree(s) are of amenity value and there may be a risk of work being done to them that would harm that value.
Prior to doing work to such a protected tree, ie top, lop, fell or uproot, consent should be gained from us. More information is available from the Planning Portal.
A form that will provide us with the information we need to consider an application is available. (Works to trees the subject of a TPO). Contact our planning department for more information .
The application must give the reasons for making the application and by reference to a plan, specify the trees to which the application relates and the operations for which consent is required. Benefit will come from submitting an independent arboricultural appraisal of the work intended. It is a criminal offence to do works to such trees without first having the benefit of consent.
Within eight weeks of receipt the we are required to either grant consent, unconditionally or subject to conditions, or refuse consent. In circumstances where it is found necessary to refuse consent then there is a right of appeal against that decision.
It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission. Hedgerows that are shorter than 20 metres, or that are in or border a garden, may not need consent to be removed. If you wish to remove a hedgerow contact a planning officer to check if consent is required.
Upon receipt of the application we consider whether or not the hedgerow is important, based on age, archaeological, historical, wildlife or landscape value.
If it is considered necessary to prohibit removal of the hedgerow, then the applicant must be notified within six weeks.