The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and associated Regulations enables us to protect trees in the interests of amenity, by making tree preservation orders (TPOs).
The making of an order, in general, makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without our permission. The purpose of an order is to protect selected trees and woodlands if their removal would have a significant impact on the environment and its enjoyment by the public. We have a duty to make tree preservation orders, where appropriate, when granting planning permission.
Government circular guidance advises that we need to be able to show that a reasonable degree of public benefit would accrue before orders are made or confirmed. The trees should therefore normally be visible from a public place such as a road or public footpath, although exceptionally, the inclusion of other trees may be justified. The benefit may be present or future (for example, when proposed development has taken place).
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