North Warwickshire Borough Council

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Works to Trees and Hedgerows

Introduction to Works to Trees and Hedgerows

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trees

Before you start works on trees or hedgerows, you should be aware that trees within North Warwickshire may be protected if considered to contribute to the amenity of an area, or if they are above a certain size within a designated area. In addition there are further controls on removal of hedgerows across the Borough.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

A tree may be covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), either individually, as a group, area or woodland - irrespective of its ownership. This prevents any works to or the removal of the tree without prior consent from the Council. For advice about whether a particular tree is protected, or copies of TPOs (subject to the Council's Fees and Charges schedule) contact the Planning Control team providing the postal address of the property where the tree is sited. A site plan indicating the exact tree and species may also be necessary. Your enquiry will usually be addressed within a few working days, but may take longer.

Applications for works to or removal of TPO trees must be made under planning legislation, and supported by a statement of reasons for the proposed work, including a clear and full specification of the works. Further advice on the types of appropriate works to trees can be viewed here. In addition, where removal is sought on structural, subsidence or health and safety grounds, evidence in support of these reasons is required. This report must be by a competent tree professional if your reasons relate to the health and/or safety of the tree(s), along with a report by an engineer or surveyor if you alleging structural or subsidence damage.

You can download further advice on Tree Preservation Orders. This guidance was updated in May 2009 and details the relevant exemptions for trees that are dead or dangerous. Irrespective of this exemption, you are still required to give the Council at least 5 working days notice of your intention to exercise these exemption rights. Please note that as of April 2012, there is no longer an exemption for dying trees, and the normal application procedure for works to a TPO tree must be followed.

To request a tree is protected by TPO, please contact a member of Development Control on 01827 715341.

Trees within Conservation Areas

All trees above 75mm diameter in Conservation Areas are subject to control. Where you intend to undertake works to or remove such a tree, you are required to notify the Council, with the tree(s) clearly indicated on a plan and details of the works, at least 6 weeks prior to undertaking the works/removal. The preferred procedure is to complete the planning application form.

The Council can either agree to the works proposed, choose not to reply within this time period (thus allowing you to continue with the works proposed), or notify you that they disagree with the works and intend to seek statutory protection for the tree(s).

Trees within Woodlands

All trees subject to thinning operations above 100mm diameter in woodlands are subject to control. Please contact the Tree Officer in the Landscape Management department on 01827 715341 for advice. Further information is available from the Forestry Commission.

Standard of works to Trees and Hedgerows

Development proposals involving works to, close to or affecting trees should meet British Standard requirements. You can view further information on the standard requirements here and ecological considerations too.

Reporting problems with Trees

  • Trees on Grass Verges and Highways

Please report dangerous or overgrown trees on grass verges and highways using Warwickshire County Council's Reporting Faults on Highways form.

  • Trees on Private Land, Private Property and Council Housing

Dangerous or overgrown trees on private land, private property and Council housing are the responsibility of the owner or tenant. People able to care for your trees are generally either consultants (tree advisors or arboriculturists) or contractors (tree surgeons or arborists). You can find a professional here.

  • Trees on Parks or Open Spaces

Please report dangerous or overgrown trees using our online Trees form.

  • Trees on Council Owned Flats or Sheltered Accommodation Property

Please report dangerous or overgrown trees using our online Trees form.

Hedgerows

Some hedges in the countryside are protected by the Hedgerow Regulations, which aim to conserve hedges considered important, for archaeological, historical, environmental or landscape interest. The 1997 Hedgerow Regulations apply to any hedgerow which:

  • grows in, or adjacent to any common land, Local Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest, or land used for agriculture, forestry of the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys; and
  • has a continuous length of at least 20 metres, or if less than 20 metres, meets another hedgerow at each end.

Natural England also offers a summary of the restrictions.

It is a criminal offence to remove hedgerows without the relevant consent. If you are considering removing a hedgerow, you must notify us via the 1APP planning procedure, showing location plans of the hedges and give reasons for removing the hedge along with providing a biodiversity survey and report.

High Hedges

You can find out about High Hedges here.

  1. You are here: Introduction to Works to Trees and Hedgerows
  2. Types of Works to Trees
  3. Standard of Works to Trees
  4. Responsibility for Maintenance
  5. Ecological Considerations

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