Trees within conservation areas are automatically protected from being cut down or pruned, unless written notice (by letter or email) of the proposed tree works has first been served on the local planning authority. This is because the trees may contribute to the special character of the conservation area.

The purpose of the notice is to allow the tree’s contribution to the visual amenity of the area to be assessed.

The local planning authority has six weeks from the date of receiving the notice to determine whether or not the proposed works would adversely affect the appearance of the tree and/or the visual amenity value of the locality. If it is determined that the proposed works are inappropriate, a tree preservation order will be made to protect the tree. Otherwise you will be notified that the intended work is acceptable.

You do not normally need consent to cut down or do work to trees that are:-

  • less than 75mm in diameter (measured 1.5m above ground)
  • less that 100mm in diameter (measured 1.5m above ground), if it is to help the growth of other trees
  • if the tree is dead or dangerous
  • if it is a fruit tree, grown for fruit production.

To ensure there is no misinterpretation of the above, it is advisable to contact the council before carrying out any work. All work should be carried out in accordance with good arboriculture practice.

If you deliberately destroy a protected tree, or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be liable to a fine. You can check if your property is located within a conservation area by using our online mapping tool.

The trees may also be covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) also. You can find this out by using our online mapping tool. Once you have found the correct area on the map you will need to switch on the ‘TPO’ planning layer.

If the tree is covered by a TPO then you would be required to submit an application for works to a protected tree.

Apply for tree works consent or permission for works to a protected tree.

You can apply for tree works consent or permission for works to a protected tree by: