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Trees, Hedges and Landscape

The council has the power to protect trees by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Tree Preservation Orders make it an offence to top, lop, fell or uproot a protected tree without the council's permission. It also an offence to carry out such works to any tree in a Conservation Area without giving proper notice to the district council.

Applications for works to trees

The council has the power to protect trees by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Tree Preservation Orders make it an offence to top, lop, fell or uproot a protected tree without the council's permission. It also an offence to carry out such works to any tree in a Conservation Area without giving proper notice to the district council.

All types of trees can be protected including hedgerow trees if they have amenity value, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. The order can cover anything from a single tree to large areas of woodland. You can search for any trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) using our MyUttlesford mapping feature.

 

Find trees protected by tree preservation orders ►

 

Details of existing TPOs are also available for inspection at the Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4ER.

Applications for development which will affect protected trees will need to be submitted with a tree survey.

Where a tree is not protected by a TPO and it is under threat from works that are likely to cause it significant damage, you should contact the council's Planning Helpdesk as soon as possible. An assessment will then be made as to whether the tree is of significant enough value for a TPO to be served.

Applying  to carrying out work

If you wish to carry out work to a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order you must apply for permission. There are certain limited exceptions to this, for example, where you need to make a tree or part of a tree safe in an emergency.

All applications for works to preserved trees must be submitted on the prescribed form. All applications also need to be accompanied by: a plan which identifies the tree or trees to which the application relates; such information as is necessary to specify the work for which consent is sought; a statement of the applicant's reasons for making the application and appropriate evidence describing any structural damage to property or in relation to tree health or safety, as applicable. You can either apply for works via the planning Portal or by using our pdf forms.

Application for tree works: Works to subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) and/or notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area pdf icon Application for tree works: Works to subject to a tree perseveration order (TPO) and/or notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area (Editable pdf file) [580kb] Guidance [98kb]

 

Apply for tree works via the Planning Portal ►

 

Permission for works to a protected tree will often be subject to conditions attached to that consent. This will usually set a time limit of two years during which time the works must be completed and will also require that the work must conform to the relevant British Standard (BS:3998, 1989 Recommendations for Tree Works). More information about British Standards can be found on the British Standards website.

For a list of approved contractors please contact the Arboricultural Association by telephoning 01242 522152 or by email at admin@trees.org.uk

You can find out more about Tree Preservation Orders in the following:

  • The Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (sections 197-214 as amended)
  • The Planning & Compensation Act 1991 (section 23)
  • The Forestry Act 1967 (as amended)
  • The Town & Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999. 

These are available from the The National Archives on behalf of HM Government.

More information and the Good Practice Guide is available from the GOV.UK site.

Trees in Conservation Areas

A Conservation Area is an area of special architectural or historical interest. It is important to preserve and enhance the special character of such areas. Trees are an essential element in the distinctive character of these areas and because of this there are general safeguards within Conservation Areas. You must give the Council six weeks' notice in writing (this is called a Section 211 notification) if you want to carry out work on trees within a Conservation Area that are not protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). However you do not need permission if you want to cut down or work on an unprotected tree within a Conservation Area that has a trunk diameter of less than 7.5 centimetres (measured at 1.5 metres above the ground) or 10 centimetres if thinning to help the growth of other trees. You can download an application form by using the link at the bottom of this page or you can email us directly giving notice of your intentions. 

  • Conservation Areas can be found on the Interactive Local Plan in the box on the right of this page

Applications for development which will affect trees on a conservation area will need to be submitted with a tree survey.

Dying Dead or Dangerous Trees

Except in an emergency you should give the Council at least five days' notice before you cut down a protected tree which is dying, dead or dangerous or remove dead dying or dangerous timber from an otherwise healthy tree. You could face prosecution if the Council considers you have carried out unauthorised work. You have a duty to provide evidence that the tree was dead, dying or dangerous.

From 1st October 2008 all applications for works to preserved trees much be submitted on the prescribed form (which will be available here as soon as it has been issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government) all applications will also need to be accompanied by: a plan which identifies the tree or trees to which the application relates; such information as is necessary to specify the work for which consent is sought; a statement of the applicant's reasons for making the application and appropriate evidence describing any structural damage to property or in relation to tree health or safety, as applicable.

Trees in Conservation Areas Carrying out work

If you wish to carry out work to a tree within a Conservation Area you must apply for permission. There are certain limited exceptions to this, for example, where you need to make a tree or part of a tree safe in an emergency. Please use the application form available via the link at the bottom of this page or email us your request giving as much information as possible on the location of the tree, the nature of the works and why you want to carry out the work. An assessment will then need to be made including a site visit.

If you would like to find out if a tree in Uttlesford is covered by a Tree Preservation Order or is located within a Conservation Area you can use the interactive maps on the links below. Orders dated before 1974 were made by Essex County Council and applications to carry out works to trees covered by pre 1974 orders will be determined by the the County Council. Contact details for the County Council arboricultural team can be found on the Essex County Council website trees and wildlife pages.

Trees on Council Land

Trees can be found on many of the properties and sites managed by the Council. The Council recognises that trees, woodlands and hedgerows make a significant contribution to the attractiveness and distinctiveness of the Uttlesford countryside and the district's towns and villages. Trees are also important for wildlife providing food and shelter for a variety of animals and other plants. Please report any problems with trees on land belonging to this Council to our property services team on or Grounds Maintenance.  Trees adjacent to the highways are normally the responsibility of Essex County Council's Highway Department.

Reporting tree problems

Trees on land belonging to Uttlesford District Council. Telephone: Property Services  on 01799 510573 or Grounds Maintenance on 01799 510518.

Trees adjacent to the highways are normally the responsibility of Essex County Council's Highway Department.  Telephone: 08457 430430 or report the problem online.

Hedgerows

Under the Hedgerow Regulation 1997 it is unlawful to remove or destroy certain hedgerows without permission from the Council.

This legislation is extremely complicated and only applies in certain situations. Permission is required, for example, before removing hedges that are 20metres or more in length (or of lesser length if the hedge is connected to other hedges), over 30 years old and either of historic importance , supports a number of woody species or is of wildlife value as defined under the Regulations.

Properly undertaken management of a hedge does not require permission. Residential hedges are also not covered by these Regulations.

Application forms, checklists and guidance notes for for s hedgerow removal notice can be found on the Planning Application Forms and Checklists page.

High Hedges

If you would like to complain about the height of a hedge, please read this leaflet first: pdf icon Complaining to the council - High Hedges [394kb]

You can also find guidance on the gov.uk website and the relevant legislation can be found here.

If you still wish to complain, the High Hedges complaint form and guidance notes can be found on the Planning Application Forms and Checklists page.

 


Contact Planning

If you need further guidance on applying for planning permission, please see our planning advice page.