Conservation areas are areas that of special architectural or historical importance although these are generally designated due to buildings found within them, but also protect the trees that are found within them as well. Any pruning or removal of trees, within the conservation area, which have a trunk diameter of 75mm at 1.5m above ground level or more require a conservation area notification to be submitted to the council’s planning department.
The pruning or removal of branches, roots or live vegetation requires notification in writing at least 6 weeks before you want to carry out the work. Failure to notify the council may result in enforcement action, even prosecution for this criminal offence, of both the person undertaking the works and the person who instructed the works
The six weeks notification gives the council the time to decide if they will object to the proposed work, by making a tree preservation order on the tree. If a tree preservation order is to be made on a tree on the property the council will generally make a tree preservation order on all the trees that are worthy of protection, not just the one that work is being notified to the council. A tree preservation officer will attend the site and inspect the tree and assess the reasons for the work being proposed. If the officer has concerns about the extent of the pruning or the removal of the tree, they will discuss this with the applicant or owner and offer a more appropriate or acceptable specification of works (if an alternative specification is at all acceptable) before a tree preservation is placed on the tree(s).
If you wish to carry out any work to conservation area trees you must give six weeks written notification to the council. There is no requirement for residents to complete a tree application form, and notifications can be made by letter or email provided that sufficient detail is included with the correspondence.
The information must include:
- The address where the trees are found
- The tree owners contact details including telephone number and email (where applicable)
- The details of the person who is applying including if different from the owner
- Contact telephone number of the applicant if different from the owner and email (where applicable)
- A clear specification of works
- A plan of the site showing the house and any notable feature to clearly identify the tree that work is required on
- Photographs of the tree and supporting reports or information will aid the council being able to speed up the process of determining if there will be any object to the works
Contractors or agents working for residents should however complete the standard tree application form or apply via the planning portal, see useful websites right.