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Stop Misuse Of Tree Preservation Orders

1 Comment 15th July 2010

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) were originally introduced by legislation intended to preserve (usually individual) trrees of great age and of historic/botanical value.

The planning legislation was ammended in about 1990 so as to give local planning authorities powers to place TPOs on any trees, including those in private gardens, irrespective of the lack of historic or special botanical value. This is now being done widely throughout the UK, with hundreds of such orders in major towns. The intent, as admitted to me by a local planning officer, is to block development of land.

Thus, TPOs are being placed on trees planted and tended at the expense of private residents. There are severe penalties for felling, or even just lopping such trees, without permission of the planning authority, fines being up to £20,000 per offence.

Why does this matter?

Thus is a total breach of the rights of home owners to enjoy their property as they chose and is totally undemocratic. The danger is that this practice is not widely known and people unaffected may remain unconcerned until they become trapped by it themselves. 

The administration involved (tree survey terams, lawyers, additional planning oficers, etc.) is a sigmnificant burden on Council Tax funds. A blanket TPO is usually initially placed on a property, to be replaced by a more specific one (re tree species) later, doubling the cost.

As all such TPOs are invalidated when planning permission is granted it is pointless to use them as described when planning permission could simply be refused anyway, involving none of the above costs.

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One Response to Stop Misuse Of Tree Preservation Orders

  1. Dennis says:

    To make house owners resposible for all costs after trees are TPO’d is outrageous. If the tree officer wants to TPO a tree the council should then be resposible!! Tree officers have little or no regard for the home owner, the tree position and are, frequently, obstructive ( sometimes rude and dictatorial. Such matters should be, entirely, in the hands of the owner, without need for approval by the local council.

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