The Council has a number of older TPOs, some of which date back to the 1970s. In many situations, use of the land has changed because new development has taken place and the original TPO map has little relationship to a modern map of the area. Some trees standing at the time the TPO was made have been removed and others may no longer be in a suitable condition to merit protection. New trees may have been planted and grown over time which now merit protection, but are not covered by the original order. The Council is seeking to ensure that all our TPOs are appropriate, effective, up to date and enforceable. To achieve this, we will continue to prioritize the review process by concentrating first on those orders that have area designations. We have prepared a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the TPO Review:
More than 5,000 properties in the Borough are affected by TPOs. Some of them are now over 30 years old and no longer protect the best quality trees. Many of these older TPOs apply a 'blanket' protection to all trees within a defined area, regardless of their quality. This means it is often necessary for residents to apply for consent to prune or remove trees that are not of high amenity value. This review intends to bring our TPOs up to date, protecting the very best trees that exist today.
No, all local authorities have been advised by the Government to review TPOs in their area to ensure they remain up to date.
No, there are more than 700 TPOs in the Borough, many of which were made in recent years and are still up to date. The practice of protecting large areas with 'blanket' orders is now rarely used. There are around 200 older, 'blanket' TPOs which will be reviewed.
We are responsible for reviewing TPOs but as this is a major project, the Council may appoint consultants to help with the task.
The first step is to survey the area to assess existing trees and identify those worthy of protection and those that do not qualify for protection. TPOs should be used to protect selected trees and woodlands if their removal would have a significant adverse impact on the local environment and its enjoyment by the public. When surveys are complete new TPOs will be created which are selective and apply only to the better-quality trees. The old 'blanket' TPO can then be revoked. Because TPOs are legally binding, there are several steps that have to be taken by the Council in making a new TPO or revoking an old TPO. Residents affected by TPOs that are being reviewed will receive more information on this at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, the legal process may require us to write to residents on a number of occasions but we will try to minimise the number of times we contact you.
The better-quality trees on your property that are in good condition and continue to provide good public amenity will in most cases be protected by the new TPO. Protection may be lifted from trees that are of poorer quality. Some trees too young to be included in the existing TPO when it was made may be recommended for inclusion now.
Yes, in some cases it may be necessary to come into your garden to carry out the tree survey. The surveyor will carry an identity badge and if necessary a letter of authority issued by the Council. If you have any doubts about the identity of somebody claiming to be employed by us, ask to see their identification or contact our tree team on 01329 236100 before letting them enter your property.
In some areas, where trees are grouped together, the surveyor may fix a small tag to the trunk of the trees being assessed. Each tag has a serial number to help you and us to identify individual trees.
You may object to the making of the new order and we will write to everybody affected by the review and provide more information at the time.
It is important that you advise the Council if you have been given permission to fell or prune a protected tree and have not yet carried out the work.