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A TPO was placed on our tree our back garden ( not usually done ) in 2004. No consultation,no site visit, all paperwork wrong, wrong house,road,map. We did not respond.  4 months later TPO confirmed, my house scribbled in place, map changed 1 month later. No oportunity of commenting on our tree, except via the high court ! Is this legal? The tree is now a monster, we wish to have it profesionally lopped, tree officer will only allow relatively minor works. Tree blights neighbours, can we lop the tree to Abate and Prevent a Nuisance to preserve their Common Law Rights without consulting LPA? Mynors says we can.


  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    I would suggest you rally the neighbours if as you say it's causing them a nuisance and re approach the Council if you touch the tree in anyway you may find yourself in court. TPOs are there for a reason regardless of whether its in your garden or not.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    Unless there is a new edition, Mynors is well out of date and common law is based on precedent so if there have been cases in the intervening years then that will have changed things.   But common law would generally be trumped by the TPO as this is based on statutes. 

    Out of curiosity what is the tree?  It is unusual to place a TPO on a tree on private land unless there is a threat to it, or it’s extra special for one reason or another. 
  • Mynors is the second edition 2011. The tree is a monteray pine
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    edited June 2019

    A TPO is a written order which, in general, makes it a criminal offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree protected by that order, or to cause or permit such actions, without the Local Authority’s permission.  The principal purpose of a Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) is to preserve trees which are normally located on privately owned land.

    All types of tree (but not hedges, bushes or shrubs) can be protected, and a TPO can protect anything from a single tree to all the trees within a defined area or woodland.  There is no statutory definition of what constitutes a “tree” and specialist advice should always be sought before any planned works take place on protected vegetation.

    If you want to do works to the trees, don't try to remove the TPO, you only need to apply to the Local Authority for permission to do the works. If you've got a good enough reason then the Local Authority will allow it. If not, they won't.

    If the TPO is confirmed it can be modified in the confirmation process and you should seek specialist advice before submitting the notice to avoid missing this opportunity.

    If the Local Authority refuse unreasonably, there is an appeal process which is set out in the law and damages can be claimed under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which normally takes place in the Lands Tribunal.

    Landowners should always consider having a survey carried out on the number of trees within an area identified within a TPO, particularly if it is likely that the existing density of trees within the woodland is less than may be assessed by standard planting densities.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • Do you think that the council acted legally when they applied the tpo without asking for our comments on our tree ?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,143
    My understanding is that the Council is able to apply a TPO without discussion with the landowner ... indeed I’m aware of this having been done on several occasions specifically to prevent the landowner from implementing plans to fell the trees. 

    I suggest that you and your neighbours commission a report from a well-qualified arboriculturist,  detailing the condition of the tree and it’s impact on the surrounding homes, and a plan of action to be carried out by said arboriculturist with the agreement of the council

    It would also be helpful if this also included some planning for the future maintenance of the tree.

    If this report is presented to the Tree Officer you may well find that he or she will work with you to ensure the future health of the tree,  whilst mitigating as much negative impact on the neighbourhood as possible. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    When the TPO was first made, the order would have been made public, eg via the Council’s website, for comments.  No specific consultation other than that is required.  And once the order was made you would have had 28 days to object.

    But that was a long time ago, and I don’t think you would be on strong ground to argue some 15 years later that they did it wrong...

    Well quite a bit has changed since 2011, including the TPO guidance.

    (when I said unusual to do one on private land, I should have written in a private of the criteria for making a  TPO is amenity value and trees in back gardens can be less visible, so are more difficult to argue amenity)

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    What a council considers to have amenity value bears no resemblance to anyone elses idea. When I was working, we intended felling a beech and a pear, that were not in a good condition, at the rear of a shop and stopping us getting vans in and out. I was willing to plant trees on the boundary. One neighbour said there was a TPO. It wasn't shown as such on the deeds, so I asked the council. They wouldn't give me an answer, but said they wanted to see it. They turned up with an emergency TPO, didn't care it was stopping us doing business, not that the tree was on land destined to be the inner ring road.  The business was moved, the property became derelict, and the property and tree were cleared when the ring road was finally built.
  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,531
    Sorry, but the OP has in part brought the problem on themselves.  They received notification from the council but chose not to respond or challenge it.  Now, 15 years later they are unhappy about the situation.
    Regarding the comment about the notice being on the council website, back in 2004 council websites were pretty basic, if they existed at all.  Internet access by the general public was not as all encompassing as it is today.
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,142
    I have a number of trees that are TPO protected. In fact, pretty much every tree in the local area is covered, even 'weeds' such as silver birch. We applied and were granted permission to have our 3 Beech trees worked on which involved a reduction in height, width and density. What I can say is get a well respected tree surgeon from your local area to assist with the application. They normally have contacts at the local authority which can help ease the application. In my case the tree surgeon actually got the council chap to come out to our property for an on-site assessment before we made the formal application. They were able to come to an agreement beforehand as to what level of work would be considered acceptable so this made the application quicker and smoother as it was a case of 'no surprises' when it landed in the authorities desk. 
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