TREES and their protection & preservation    (this page last updated January 2015)

Let's suppose you like trees.
What can we do to make sure that vital
(both aesthetically and biologically)
trees are not intentionally damaged or destroyed, for whatever REASON!

(see the blue section at the very bottom of this page)

Tree Preservation Orders

Where the Local Planning Authority (LPA); in our case WILTSHIRE Council, consider that an individual tree is worthy of protection against damage and/or destruction, it can make a T.P.O

Now the Tree Protection Officer doesn’t wander around the district looking for trees to protect. In most cases, members of the public contact him if they feel that a tree needs protecting.

Usually it’s someone else's tree! After all, you aren’t going to want to cut down your own tree are you?

But of course you might. Trees have a habit of growing. They may start to undermine your house foundations, block out the sun or get in the way of a new conservatory.

Even the best specimens need maintenance eventually.  Lopping and Pruning them also needs consent! So before getting the saw out, if your tree is protected, check with the tree protection officer first!

Instead of having individual trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order (T.P.O.), CONSERVATION AREAS have a ‘blanket cover’ on mature trees within that area. (See down the page as what constitutes a ‘mature tree’)
Breaches of the regulations can incur a fine of £20,000 in a Magistrate’s Court, and in the Crown Court it’s unlimited !

I love my tree !

"I love my tree!"


Click here for a description
of the


For the purposes of these regulations a TREE is one where the trunk
exceeds 75 millimetres (three inches in old money) in
DIAMETER - not circumference!)

This measurement is to be taken 1½  metres (5 feet) up the trunk from natural ground level


Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999 No. 1892)
Preservation of trees in a Conservation Area  -
Section 211


(1) Subject to the provisions of this section and section 212, any person who, in relation to a tree to which this section applies, does any act which might by virtue of Section 198 (3) (a) be prohibited.


(2) Subject to section 212, this section applies to any tree in a conservation area in respect of which no tree preservation order is for the time being in force


(3) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under sub-section (1) to prove -


   a) that he served notice of his intention to do the act in question, with sufficient particulars to identify
       the  tree on the local planning authority in whose
area the tree is or was situated; and
   b) that he did the act in question -
              (i) with the consent of the local planning authority in whose area the tree is or was situated, or
              (ii) after the expiry of the period of six weeks from the date of the notice, but before the expiry of
                   the period of two years from that date.

(4)  Section 210 shall apply to an offence under this section as it applies to a contravention of a tree
       preservation order.


Some helpful hints from WILTSHIRE Council when applying for works to trees.
It will save you a lot of time and trouble if you read this first!

Advice dated 4th December 2014

There have been a few queries lately regarding applications submitted to Wiltshire Council for works to trees, specifically relating to the apparent lack of information that is submitted with applications. As these types of applications have very different requirements from normal planning applications, we thought it would be useful to clarify a few points for you. In this letter, we will briefly explain the differences between the two types of tree works applications, what is required for each one, and the procedure we follow for each application.

There are two types of applications for works to trees:

-   Works to trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order (known as a T.P.O .application)
-   Works to trees in a conservation area (known as a T.C.A. application). This is officially known as a Section 211 notice.
          T.P.O. Applications have the following national requirements:
-   A standard application form must be completed, including contact details and a signature
-   The works must be clearly specified, including a measurement (for example, crown raise to six metres)
-   The reasons for the works must be stated
-   A sketch plan must be provided, with the trees that the application is concerning clearly marked (this does not have to
         be to scale)
-   Any supporting information with helps to confirm the reasons for the works:
-  Condition of the tree – arboricultural advice relating to the deterioration of the tree, or the presence of any disease or
       deadly fungus
-  Subsidence – survey reports or technical evidence showing any damage to properties

Once an application is received, the support team will confirm that there is a TPO on the trees indicated, and then proceed to validate and register the application. These applications have an eight week decision deadline from the date the application is valid. Once the officer receives the application, they will conduct a site visit and request more information from the applicant if they deem it to be necessary. All comments from the parish and from members of the public are of great importance, as they help the officer to confirm the amenity value of the tree(s) in question. No works are able to take place until a decision has been issued, even if it goes beyond the eight week deadline. All documents, include the decision notice, are published on the website.

T.C.A .Applications (section 211 notices) have the following national requirements:

-   There is no specific form; as long as the details are provided, we must accept them in any written format, although we
        encourage applicants and agents to use the standard form wherever possible.
-   The works must be clearly specified, including a measurement (for example, crown raise to six metres)
-   Sufficient particulars to identify the tree(s) must be provided. A sketch plan is optional, but encouraged (this does not
         have to be to scale)

There is such a marked difference in what is required on these applications compared to T.P.O .applications because these are officially only a notice of works, not an application for works. Members of the public are required to give the Council six weeks’ notice before commencing any work to trees in a conservation area. The Council then have three options: firstly, to issue a letter of no objections; secondly, to not respond at all; thirdly, to create a new Tree Preservation Order. Unless a tree preservation order is served, the member of the public is free to carry out the works as soon as the six week notice period has ended.

As this is only a notice, our procedure is slightly different. When an application is received, the support team confirm that the trees indicated are in a conservation area, and then proceed to validate and register the notice. As stated above, these applications have a six week decision deadline from the date the notice is valid, which is a very strict timeline we must adhere to. As such, we are usually unable to grant time extensions on the consultation period. Parish comments and comments from members of the public are of a particular importance on these applications, as the officers become involved if any objections are received. All documents, include the decision notice, are published on the website.

If you have any further comments, please do not hesitate to contact us. The information in this letter has been drawn from the planning guidance notes available on the below link. If you would like to read further into this topic, this is also a good place to start.

Yours faithfully,

Kate Tate.
Technical Support Officer. Development Control Services. Wiltshire Council.

email  :

Telephone : 01249 706670