Protecting a tree
If you wish to protect a tree in your area, write to the Planning Authority stating your reasons, and include a map to aid identification. An immediate, temporary (six month) TPO can be put in place by the Local Planning Authority. The Authority would then inform neighbours and interested parties. Any objections must be received within 28 days. After six months, the temporary TPO could be confirmed and made permanent, or allowed to lapse. Local residents have the chance to raise objections in that time.
Exceptions can be made to the need for permission or notice of tree works in the case of emergency, but it is better to inform, and obtain agreement in writing, the Council first at least five days in advance (Regulation 14 of The Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation)(England) Regulations 2012). Fines imposed by a Magistrates' and High Court can be unlimited for unauthorised interference with a protected tree. Certain exceptions exist for commercial orchards, certain works done by utility companies, and in specific legal situations. Carrying out work that requires immediate attention and than applying for retrospective permission is inadvisable but if necessary take photographs and collect all data to reduce the risk of prosecution.
Note that TPOs do not protect trees from felling where a new development has been granted planning permission by the Planning Authority, if the tree’s presence would impede the implementation of that planning permission.