Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an order that can be made by the council to protect trees that make a significant impact on their surroundings and may be under threat.
This is a legal protection and if a tree is protected by a TPO it is then an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the Council's consent.
This means that before you do any work to a tree protected by a TPO you must apply to the Council for approval to undertake the works.
To find out whether your tree is protected by a TPO please visit our View Protected Trees on a Map page by clicking on the link to the right.
Works on Protected Trees
If you wish to apply for works to be carried out on a protected tree and you know what works you wish to undertake, please call us on 01962 848 301 or email NaturalEnvironment@winchester.gov.uk
If you are unsure as to what work you would like to carry out and would like to seek help, we recommend you contact a Tree Consultant before applying to the Council. A list of consultants approved by the Arboricultural Association can be found at www.trees.org.uk/find-a-professional.
We ask that you decide what works you would like to undertake before contacting the Council.
Once you are ready to submit your application to us, you can do so online by following the link to the Planning Portal on the right.
Please be warned, carrying out work on a protected tree without the Council's consent can result in a criminal prosecution and a hefty fine of up to £20,000.
If your tree is dead or dangerous, consent is not required but the Council should be given five days notice before any works are carried out, unless it is an emergency. In these situations we still advise that you notify the Council as soon as possible to minimise any negative repercussions.
If you see work being carried out on a tree that you think may be protected, contact Winchester City Council on 01962 848 301 or email NaturalEnvironment@winchester.gov.uk.
Applying for a TPO
A Tree Preservation Order is a legislation to prevent harm being done to the trees. It is a criminal offence to undertake any works to a tree that is covered by a TPO, without consent from your local authority. The aim of the TPO is to protect the tree, and here at Winchester City Council we have a responsibility to protect the trees in our district.
If you would like to apply for a TPO to be put on a tree, please could you provide the following information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will assess the information, and respond in due course. Please note this does not guarantee a TPO will be placed on the tree – our tree officers along with the planning team will assess the application, and take the below factors into consideration.
- The address or location where the tree(s) are situated;
-A map identifying the location of the specific tree(s);
-The reasons for wanting a new TPO i.e. proposed development, prominent tree etc.;
-Perceived level of threat;
1) Immediate threat to tree
2) Foreseeable threat to tree
3) Perceived threat to tree
4) Precautionary only
Process for creating new Tree Preservation Orders within the Winchester District
- WCC becomes aware of a potential threat to a tree which could be of high amenity value.
- Officers undertake preliminary investigations including discussing the issue with the person who has raised the concerns (if applicable), checking mapping and database systems and requesting photographs.
- If the tree is potentially of high amenity value and the threat is deemed viable, the Tree Officer visits the site to:
- assess the trees for their amenity value including ie whether the trees can be seen from the public domain; view the trees from numerous angles and consider their contribution to and relationship with the landscape;
- assess the size, health and form of the tree;
- assess any mitigating issues such as disease or clear damage to property;
- assess future potential as an amenity asset;
- assess the biodiversity, cultural or historic value;
- Undertake a Tree Evaluation Method for Preservation Orders (TEMPO) assessment to quantify whether the tree is worthy of a TPO;
- plot the tree’s location and categorise whether it is an individual, group or woodland order that is required.
- Assuming the tree is worthy of a TPO, the officer will serve a provisional TPO with details sent to the tree/occupier of the land and any neighbouring land materially affected by the trees (by hand or through registered mail) and provides immediate protection to the tree.
- Site notices are erected in a prominent location on the public highway near to the protected trees and on the main entrance to land or property. In addition a copy and map of the order is available at the reception of City Offices.
- Once served, a TPO is initially provisional and valid for a maximum of six months. Within this time the order must be made permanent or revoked.
- If there are no objections the TPO is made permanent, in accordance with the advice from the Secretary of State.
- Anyone can write to the council either supporting or objecting to the TPO. The Council will allow 28 days for letters of representations to be received and allow a minimum of 42 days before confirmation of the TPO
- Following the receipt of letters of representation to the TPO, the Tree Officer to contact the objectors to resolve any concerns or issues raised (including a site visit if applicable).
- In the event that an objection(s) cannot be resolved at the site meeting, the TPO is be referred to the next available Planning Committee.
- Ten days before the confirmation of the TPO is due to be heard at Planning Committee, the Council will notify all supporters and objectors via letter or email.
- Any person wishing to make representation at the Planning Development Control committee must register their wish to do so by contacting the Public Speaking Co-ordinator within the Planning Department as soon as possible, but prior to the deadline of 4.00pm two working days before the meeting date via email: email@example.com or telephone 01962 848339 to register to speak and for further details.
- If objectors or supporters of the TPO wish to give a presentation or display photographs at the Committee to support their reasoning for their representation they must have prior permission before the committee meeting and they should make their wishes known to the Public Speaking Co-ordinator as soon as possible.
- Objectors and supporters will be allowed 3 Minutes to make representation at Planning Committee (City Council Ward members are allowed 5 minutes to make representation).
- The Planning Committee make a decision whether to confirm or revoke the TPO.
- Winchester City Council legal department to inform the owner of the tree of the decision.
- There is no right to appeal to the Secretary of State against an authority either making or confirming an order. The validity of an order cannot be challenged in any legal proceedings except by way of application to the High Court.