It is a criminal offence to lop, top, cut down, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a protected tree unless the Council has permitted the work. Therefore, before commencing work on any tree, it is strongly recommended you check the status by emailing details, including the location and a description of the work you wish to carry out to our tree team.
In some circumstances it may also be necessary to obtain a felling licence from the Forestry Commission before felling trees, though this is unlikely to apply to a normal domestic garden.
A conservation area is an area designated by the local planning authority, such as Fareham Borough Council, because of its special character. This is usually done because of the special architectural or historical importance of an area.
Within a conservation area all trees have a level of protection similar to trees covered by a tree preservation order (TPO).
Contact our tree team with details of the address, location, and species of the tree.
Before working on a tree in a conservation area you must give us six weeks notice in writing of your intention to carry out the work. You should include details of the exact location of the tree, indicated on a plan, along with details of the species and exactly what work you wish to do. Send your notification to us at Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Fareham, PO16 7AZ. You can download an application form and guidance notes from the Planning Portal and we recommended that you use these.
The Council will then consider the impact of the proposed works on the character of the conservation area and local public amenity. If you have heard nothing within six weeks, or if you have received a letter letting you know that the work is acceptable, you may go ahead with it. If the work is deemed to have an unacceptable impact the Council may make a TPO to protect the tree further.
All exemptions listed for protected trees in general apply to trees within a conservation area. You must also provide notice of your intention to work on trees that:
If you cut down or destroy a protected tree you will have to plant a new tree if:
If you deliberately destroy a protected tree or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in a magistrate's court. For other offences you can be fined up to £2,500. You will also normally have to plant a new tree if the tree was cut down or destroyed.
In addition to a TPO and conservation areas there are various other factors which may constrain work to trees, including:
This webpage is a reasonable summary of the legislation affecting protected trees but the information is brief, limited and offered for guidance only.