Trees in a Conservation Area
Guidance Notes for Luston Group of Parishes
Many people are unsure about what to do when a mature tree in their garden needs attention especially within a conservation area such as Luston. The following notes may help us to understand what procedures need to be followed.
Before any work can be carried out on protected trees you will need to contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA).
Trees are a vital part of our villages and surrounding areas. LPAs have specific powers to protect trees, especially those in a conservation area. We all have a responsibility to protect our neighbourhood trees from careless and unwarranted attentions. Protected trees include those anywhere covered by a tree preservation order (TPO) or all those which grow in a Conservation Area. You will need to contact the LPA even if you wish to prune branches overhanging from a neighbour’s protected tree.
You must give six weeks’ notice before carrying out work to trees in a conservation area, and you must also apply or give notice to your LPA if you want to work on a protected tree where you are carrying out development work where full planning consent is NOT needed. Where full planning permission has been granted, you might need to give separate notice to the LPA before carrying out work to protected trees. You should check with the LPA to see if this is required.
When a tree needs to be pruned or felled you should bear in mind that tree work is a dangerous activity which should be carried out by a trained, competent and appropriately insured arboriculturist. Hereford Council can provide a list of local companies who specialise in this type of work.
When the LPA receives an application concerning protected trees they will usually carry out a site visit to help them assess the proposed works. Within conservation areas, the LPA has six weeks to reply to the notices. This gives the LPA the opportunity to protect trees of amenity value which may be harmed by the proposed works. In many cases where the LPA feel that the works are inappropriate, they may discuss alternative work.
Unless there are good reasons, a condition is usually made for a replacement tree to be planted.
The LPA can prosecute when work is carried out:-
Without their consent on a preserved tree.
Without the required notice on a tree in a conservation area.
When exemptions are misused.
Anyone concerned about work being carried out on a tree or trees in the neighbourhood can easily check with the LPA to see if notification has been received and permission granted for the work. If you think a particular tree needs additional protection (TPO) either within or outside a conservation area, you can contact your LPA giving details of the proposed tree or trees and reasons why you think they should be protected.
For further information:
(1) “Protected Trees: a guide to tree preservation procedures”, a Communities and Local Government leaflet.
(2) Herefordshire County Council, Conservation Section. Tel.: 01432 260708