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    • CE85
    • By CE85 24th Jan 18, 8:54 AM
    • 7Posts
    • 1Thanks
    CE85
    Tree Preservation Order
    • #1
    • 24th Jan 18, 8:54 AM
    Tree Preservation Order 24th Jan 18 at 8:54 AM
    Hi Everyone

    We recently bought a house with a tree at the end of the garden that is subject to a TPO. Ideally, wed like to cut this tree down. Ive contacted our local council who directed me towards the planning portal site and Ive had a quick look at this. It looks like Im going to have to do a lot of reading to fully understand what is required, so Im in the very early stages!

    I just wondered if anyone has successfully applied to have a TPO lifted and if you have any tips or advice?


    Thanks
Page 1
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 24th Jan 18, 1:10 PM
    • 24,829 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 18, 1:10 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Jan 18, 1:10 PM
    When you decided to purchase the house, you took on the tree in the full knowledge that it was protected, so what has changed?

    That's the rather obvious question your local tree officer will probably ask if you apply to have the TPO lifted.

    There's no tips on this, because you'll find that removals of TPOs are very rare and limited to specific site circumstances, rather than something generally applicable. Incurable disease is probably the only reason which applies universally.

    If the tree is threatening your or someone else's house the council might relent, as they have with one I know in the grounds of a college, but there the tree is suffering too, so it's a no win situation for all. A replacement tree will also have to be planted.

    You won't need to have a TPO lifted to have essential work done on the tree, including reduction, but you will need permission, which would probably only be granted on the recommendation of a properly accredited tree surgeon. This also applies to work that might be needed due to disease or age.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • CE85
    • By CE85 24th Jan 18, 2:39 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    CE85
    • #3
    • 24th Jan 18, 2:39 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Jan 18, 2:39 PM
    Hi Davesnave.


    We bought the house in full knowledge of the TPO. The tree is at the end of our garden and it isn't the end of the world if it can't come down, we'd just prefer it if it could. Hence the reason we're looking into this.


    If we can't cut it down, we'll apply to have it cut back. It is a massive tree and (if it's staying) it could do with some TLC.


    I was only wondering if anyone had done this before. As there is an option to apply for the order to be lifted, I assume that someone must have done it.


    Thanks
    • Debbie Savard
    • By Debbie Savard 24th Jan 18, 6:53 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    Debbie Savard
    • #4
    • 24th Jan 18, 6:53 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Jan 18, 6:53 PM
    The only likely technique is if the tree would damage property when falling in which case you write to your insurer who will inform the Council they will pass on all costs. In most cases the TPO is lifted as Council can't cope with being liable.

    If you just don't like the tree, you have zero chance of felling but may have luck with thinning, crown-lifting if you get an arborialists report.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 24th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    • 16,201 Posts
    • 40,933 Thanks
    elsien
    • #5
    • 24th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    We tried with an oak tree that was well past its prime. Initially they said we could only remove the damaged bits (which cost more than expected -as it was such a big tree the smaller businesses on the recommended list didn't want to touch it.) After several years we got permission to have it cut down but only because it was obviously dying and they could see the deterioration since the previous visit.
    No-one ever checked to see that we'd planted a replacement tree though - we never did bother.
    Last edited by elsien; 24-01-2018 at 7:40 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Robster88
    • By Robster88 24th Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    Robster88
    • #6
    • 24th Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    Hi Davesnave.


    We bought the house in full knowledge of the TPO. The tree is at the end of our garden and it isn't the end of the world if it can't come down, we'd just prefer it if it could. Hence the reason we're looking into this.


    If we can't cut it down, we'll apply to have it cut back. It is a massive tree and (if it's staying) it could do with some TLC.


    I was only wondering if anyone had done this before. As there is an option to apply for the order to be lifted, I assume that someone must have done it.


    Thanks
    Originally posted by CE85
    TPOs are placed on trees that generally have significant visual amenity in the area. Isn't it a bit mean to apply to have a tree cut down that has been protected because it is appreciated by many because you personally don't like it?
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 24th Jan 18, 9:55 PM
    • 2,857 Posts
    • 3,202 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    • #7
    • 24th Jan 18, 9:55 PM
    • #7
    • 24th Jan 18, 9:55 PM
    TPOs are placed on trees that generally have significant visual amenity in the area. Isn't it a bit mean to apply to have a tree cut down that has been protected because it is appreciated by many because you personally don't like it?
    Originally posted by Robster88
    Many areas have blanket TPOs that take no account of individual trees and their amenity value.
    • WeAreGhosts
    • By WeAreGhosts 25th Jan 18, 12:59 PM
    • 2,263 Posts
    • 24,803 Thanks
    WeAreGhosts
    • #8
    • 25th Jan 18, 12:59 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Jan 18, 12:59 PM
    I'd not waste your money. My neighbour has a tree in her garden, a sycamore - 90ft tall - which overshadows our house. She applied for it to be taken down after commissioning a professional to check its stability. The arboreculturalist (sp?) said it's unsafe, but the planning officer overruled and says it is a great visual amenity and must stay. So now we worry every time there's strong winds
    • Robster88
    • By Robster88 25th Jan 18, 7:23 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    Robster88
    • #9
    • 25th Jan 18, 7:23 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Jan 18, 7:23 PM
    Many areas have blanket TPOs that take no account of individual trees and their amenity value.
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    Area (or 'blanket) TPOs still take into account the trees' amenity value, however it may be expedient to create an area TPO when this applies to a lot of (or group of) trees. The legislation for placing TPOs specifically mentions that it must be in the interests of amenity.
    • Seanymph
    • By Seanymph 25th Jan 18, 7:58 PM
    • 2,668 Posts
    • 17,977 Thanks
    Seanymph
    You can't do anything to it without permission unfortunately.

    And if you do, the fines are fairly large...
    • phoebe1989seb
    • By phoebe1989seb 25th Jan 18, 9:12 PM
    • 3,238 Posts
    • 6,640 Thanks
    phoebe1989seb
    You can't do anything to it without permission unfortunately.

    And if you do, the fines are fairly large...
    Originally posted by Seanymph
    .....unless you happen to be our neighbour, who removed every tree in his garden (some with TPOs, all within the Conservation Area) and got away with it When he applied for planning permission to ruin remuddle his early Victorian cottage, he was granted permission on the understanding he replace any tree that was removed during the process. Sadly by then it was already too late.....

    I'm afraid I have to agree with Robster88 and question your reasons for removal......
    Paid off mortgage early - mortgage-free for ten years!

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    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 25th Jan 18, 9:52 PM
    • 4,278 Posts
    • 38,650 Thanks
    Katiehound
    Sorry, no sympathy here as you bought the property knowing that the tree had a TPO. Mature trees take years to grow......and are of benefit to the community, nevermind the bird population.....

    It's a bit like people who buy a house and then complain about the noise from kennels or the smell from a farm when those businesses have been there for years, maybe even before the house was built.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
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    • andrewf75
    • By andrewf75 26th Jan 18, 10:12 AM
    • 7,953 Posts
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    andrewf75
    I'd like to think its very difficult to get a protection order removed. Mature trees are of huge value.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 26th Jan 18, 1:33 PM
    • 24,829 Posts
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    Davesnave
    I sit mostly in the 'protect the trees' camp here, but having seen some gardens totally ruined by neighbouring trees, I can see there's another side too. Something like a foreign sycamore of 80 feet is really only good for making violins and must be a nightmare to live beside. The best amenity value in that would come from being about 100m away!

    However, a tree doesn't get to 80' overnight, so many of those affected would not have done as we have, and walked away from houses blighted in that way. It's a stigma for their owners and it might well hit them in the pocket. Like it or not, there is therefore a financial incentive to remove some trees.

    Developers won't typically flout TPOs because they want to do repeat business in the same council area. I'm not so sure about private individuals like the ones phoebe mentions, or how matters of serious breaches go for them nowadays.

    Ten years ago, councils were far more likely to pursue some breaches of planning legislation than they are now that money's tighter, but it's probably a postcode lottery. With heavy fines, pursuing those who flout TPO protection could be self-financing, but it's also a matter of diverting staff from other work. Certainly, things go on in my area which would have been challenged in a different era.

    There again, where does one find someone skilled who will risk taking down a large protected tree? I know a few people who do this sort of work, but they just wouldn't touch it, because their insurance, and therefore their livelihood, would be at risk.

    Please excuse me thinking out loud!
    Last edited by Davesnave; 26-01-2018 at 1:36 PM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • WeAreGhosts
    • By WeAreGhosts 26th Jan 18, 5:44 PM
    • 2,263 Posts
    • 24,803 Thanks
    WeAreGhosts
    I sit mostly in the 'protect the trees' camp here, but having seen some gardens totally ruined by neighbouring trees, I can see there's another side too. Something like a foreign sycamore of 80 feet is really only good for making violins and must be a nightmare to live beside. The best amenity value in that would come from being about 100m away!
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I sit in the 'protect the trees' camp too. I quite like the huge sycamore - the birds love it, it provides shelter, it shades us quite handily in the summer from the midday heat - I just wish it were perhaps half the size! The mess from it is the worst - bird droppings, the seeds, and the leaves! The leaves are the worst! Takes me about eight weeks to collect them all up
    • Debbie Savard
    • By Debbie Savard 26th Jan 18, 6:42 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    Debbie Savard
    TPOs on sycamores is a nonsense, they are non-native giant weeds.
    • WeAreGhosts
    • By WeAreGhosts 26th Jan 18, 7:15 PM
    • 2,263 Posts
    • 24,803 Thanks
    WeAreGhosts
    TPOs on sycamores is a nonsense, they are non-native giant weeds.
    Originally posted by Debbie Savard
    The woman who put the TPO on lives opposite. Must be nice for her, she doesn't have to deal with the mess it creates.

    I was surprised when the professional report was disregarded by the trees officer in the planning department. I imagine if it does fall and cause damage I could have a claim against them. Although, if it were to fall and I were in bed at the time, I'd probably be dead anyway ....
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 26th Jan 18, 9:11 PM
    • 2,857 Posts
    • 3,202 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    Area (or 'blanket) TPOs still take into account the trees' amenity value, however it may be expedient to create an area TPO when this applies to a lot of (or group of) trees. The legislation for placing TPOs specifically mentions that it must be in the interests of amenity.
    Originally posted by Robster88
    There are thousands upon thousand of trees in every county of the country that have TPOs and could be considered as having very low, to no, amenity value. Small trees, not visible from any public place, not part of the public landscape. I work in these gardens all day every day, I know the local tree officer well and informal chats plus experience have taught me a few things
    Last edited by glasgowdan; 26-01-2018 at 9:14 PM.
    • andrewf75
    • By andrewf75 29th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • 7,953 Posts
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    andrewf75
    TPOs on sycamores is a nonsense, they are non-native giant weeds.
    Originally posted by Debbie Savard
    Can see this point of view and I think species should be taken into account, but there are so many non-native trees which are so well established now and Im not sure we have enough trees to be that fussy.
    • Zanderman
    • By Zanderman 5th Feb 18, 10:42 PM
    • 1,479 Posts
    • 3,968 Thanks
    Zanderman
    TPOs on sycamores is a nonsense, they are non-native giant weeds.
    Originally posted by Debbie Savard
    Nearly all plants in gardens are non-natives. They're only a nuisance 'weed' if they cause a problem by spreading uncontrollably.

    By definition a TPO'd sycamore is an established amenity tree, valued (otherwise it wouldn't be TPO'd) not a giant weed.

    Just because they 'can' cause problems doesn't mean they are 'all' problems.

    Perspective is everything!
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