Docstoc

TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS – AN INTRODUCTION

Document Sample
TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS – AN INTRODUCTION Powered By Docstoc
					   REPORT OF URBAN VISION TO THE ENVIRONMENT HOUSING AND
               PLANNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
                       21st MARCH 2005
                  TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS– AN INTRODUCTION

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Trees)
Regulations 1999 gives the Local Planning Authority the power to make Tree Preservation
Orders (the Order) in order to protect trees that due to their size, form and positioning make a
significant contribution to the amenity of the local environment and its enjoyment by the
public.

There are currently 266 Tree Preservation Orders in Salford, details of which can be obtained
from the Planning Department, some over large areas containing thousands of trees e.g.
Ellesmere Park and Broughton Park and others on individual trees.

MAKING A TREE PRESERVATION ORDER –

The Local Planning Authority may make a Tree Preservation Order where it appears to them
to be expedient in the interests of amenity to make provisions for the preservation of trees
and woodlands in the area, because there is a risk, immediate or future of the tree(s) being
cut down or pruned in a way that would have a significant impact upon the amenity of the
area.

There are a number of steps involved in the making of an Order

    1. Site Visit –

A site visit is conducted with an arborist to inspect the tree(s) in question to make an
assessment of the visibility, the individual impact and the wider impact of the tree/trees to
determine whether or not a Tree Preservation Order is justified. The number and species of
tree(s) is also noted and their exact location plotted.

    2. Preparing the Order

If it is decided that a tree is worthy of protection by an Order the trees can be protected in a
number of ways. They can be protected individually if they merit protection in their own right
or as part of a group or woodland if the overall impact and quality merits protection. Although
not advisable it is also possible to protect an area of trees in emergencies when a full survey
is not possible.

Once it has been decided how to protect the tree the order is prepared in accordance with the
model order. To do this a Local Authority planner prepares a report that outlines the Council’s
reasons for making the Order, a map that shows the location of the site and the protected
trees on that site, a schedule which details the species of tree protected and refers back to
the map and a memo. The information contained in these documents is then compiled into a
legal document – the Tree Preservation Order.

    3. Serving Copies of the Tree Preservation Order

By law the Local Planning Authority is required to serve a copy of the Order and a notification
letter which states on the reasons for making the Order and gives details of how to object and
by what date (28 days after the date of service) on the owner and occupier of the land on
which the tree(s) are situated and the owners/occupiers of any land adjoining the land on
which the trees are situated. As a matter of good practice we also send notification letters to
other interested parties. This is done by hand or registered post.

Once notice has been served on the relevant parties the Order takes affect provisionally and
it becomes an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree
without the prior grant of permission by the Local Planning Authority.
    4. Confirming the Tree Preservation Order

The provisional protection period secures protection for 6 months from the date of the making
of the Tree Preservation Order, a period which should give the Local Planning Authority
ample time to confirm the order either with or without modification, after taking into account
any representations received.

Under the Scheme of Delegation the Local Planning Authority has the authority to confirm
Tree Preservation Orders under delegated powers if no objections are received. If 1 or more
objections are received a report goes before the members of the Planning and Transportation
Regulatory Panel who make the decision on whether or not to confirm the order.

APPLYING TO DO WORKS TO PROTECTED TREES

Once a Tree Preservation Order is confirmed it protects the tree(s) indefinitely and therefore
prior grant of permission by the Local Planning Authority is required to do any pruning works
deemed necessary or to fell the tree unless one of the following exemptions apply –

       The tree is dead, dying or dangerous
       The tree is causing a legal nuisance
       The work is necessary to comply with a statutory obligation.
       Planning permission has been granted for a development that necessitates the
        removal of the tree/trees
       A statutory undertaker is undertaking work on trees situated on the undertaker’s
        operational land in the interests of safety, when inspecting/repairing/renewing their
        mains, pipes, cables etc or when carrying out their permitted development rights.

In cases where a tree is removed where a tree is dead, dying or dangerous the landowner is
under a statutory duty to replace another tree of an appropriate size and species at the same
place as soon as he/she reasonably can.

Anyone who is found guilty in the Magistrates Court of deliberately destroying or damaging a
tree in a manner likely to destroy it could be liable to a fine of up to £20,000. They also have a
duty to replace another tree of an appropriate size and species at the same place as soon as
he/she reasonably can. Anyone who prunes a tree without prior grant of permission could be
liable for a fine of up to £2,500.

Anyone can apply for consent to do works to a protected tree by submitting an application
form which details the proposed works to the tree and the applicant’s reasons for proposing
them, together with a map showing the position of the trees to the Local Planning Authority.
Where felling is proposed applicants should provide evidence to justify the removal of the
tree(s) and the subsequent loss of amenity to the area.

Processing the application –

Once in receipt of the application the planning case officer and the Council’s senior arborist
conduct a site visit to make an assessment of the amenity value of the tree.

Applications can be refused if insufficient evidence has been provided to justify the removal of
the protected tree. Where permission is granted they are valid for 3 years and all work is to
be carried out in accordance with British Standard B.S. No. 3998:1989. Where felling is
approved a condition is imposed which requires the protected tree to be replaced on a 2 for 1
basis.

The right of appeal -

If an application is refused the applicant has 28 days to appeal against the decision or the
imposition of a condition. The appeal is made, in writing, to the Secretary of Sate via the
Government Office for the North West. Appeals are normally decided via the written
representations procedure but the appellant and the Local Planning Authority have the right to
request a hearing or an inquiry.

                               CONSERVATION AREA TREES

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historical interest, the character or
appearance of which it is desirable to protect or enhance. Salford has 16 Conservation areas,
details of which are available on our website www.salford.gov.uk or from the planning
department.

Trees often contribute to the special character of the conservation area and therefore section
211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requires anyone proposing to cut down or
carry out work to a tree of over 7.5cm in diameter to give the Local Planning Authority 6
weeks prior notice.

As with trees covered by Tree Preservation Orders there are a number of occasions where
the requirement to give 6 weeks prior notice is removed. These exemptions are as follows -

       The tree is dead, dying or dangerous
       The tree is causing a legal nuisance
       The work is necessary to comply with a statutory obligation.
       Planning permission has been granted for a development that necessitates the
        removal of the tree/trees
       A statutory undertaker is undertaking work on trees situated on the undertaker’s
        operational land in the interests of safety, when inspecting/repairing/renewing their
        mains, pipes, cables etc or when carrying out their permitted development rights.

Anyone who cuts down, uproots, tops, lops, wilfully damages or destroys a tree in a
conservation area without giving the Local Planning Authority 6 weeks prior notification is
guilty of an offence, the penalties for which are equal to those for contravening a Tree
Preservation Order.

GIVING NOTICE

Whilst there is no standard format for giving notice the established practice is for applicants to
complete a similar application form to that submitted for permission to do works to a tree
protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

PROCESSING THE APPLICATION

Once notified of a person’s intent to do works to a tree in a conservation area a site visit is
conducted to assess the amenity value of the tree. In doing this special attention is paid to the
desirability of preserving the character or appearance of the conservation area it is located
within.

The Local Planning Authority can then decide to –

    1. Make a Tree Preservation Order if its justified in interests of amenity
    2. Decide not to make a Tree Preservation Order and allow the 6 week period to expire,
       at which point the proposed work may go ahead as long as its carried out within 2
       years of the date of the notice or
    3. Decide not to make a Tree Preservation Order and inform the applicant that the work
       can go ahead.

The Local Planning Authority cannot refuse consent, nor can they grant consent subject to
conditions.

If it is decided to protect the tree the person giving prior notice will need to submit a new
application to do works to a protected tree.
Further Information –

You can find out more about Tree Preservation Orders, trees in conservation areas and tree
on development sites in the following documents –

      Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (in particular sections 197-214)
      Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999
      The City of Salford adopted Unitary Development Plan -
       http://www.salford.gov.uk/living/planning/udp/udpcurrent.htm
      City of Salford Revised Deposit Draft Replacement Plan
       http://www.salford.gov.uk/living/planning/udp/udpreviseddraft.htm
      The City of Salford Supplementary Planning Guidance on Trees
       http://www.salford.gov.uk/living/planning/planningadvice/plan-policies/spg3.htm
      Tree Preservation Orders a Guide to the Law and Good Practice.
      www.odpm.gov.uk

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:3
posted:11/16/2011
language:English
pages:4