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How A Conservation Area Affects Tree Maintenance Rules

If you are planning to carry out pruning or felling of trees in a Conservation Area in the UK, there are certain rules you must abide by, or you will face penalties. Here is a guide to the main points to be aware of.


A Conservation Area is a designated site which is deemed to be of special architectural or historic interest. They usually occur in central areas of towns and villages, in order to preserve the character and appearance of the area. Although the main focus is on listed buildings, trees are also considered part of the historical landscape.


Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 section 211, all trees in a Conservation Area with a trunk diameter of 75mm or more are protected, unless the tree is dead or has become dangerous (in which case photographic evidence will be required). To find out if you are in a Conservation Area, check on your local authority website.


If you want to prune or fell a tree in a Conservation Area, you must give your local council six weeks’ notice of your intention to carry out work, using a section 211 notice. You can apply online using the Planning Portal. If the tree is dead or dying, five days written notice is required, with evidence. Pruning of fruit trees for horticultural purposes is permitted.


If you want help to identify the exact nature of the work that needs to be carried out on the tree or trees, it can help to ask a qualified tree surgeon to make an assessment. They will also be able to provide a quote for the work, should you be granted permission for it to go ahead.


Please remember that even if a tree does not fall within a Conservation Area, it still may be subject to a Tree Preservation Order, so it is best to check with your local council planning department before carrying out any pruning or felling of trees.


If you are looking for an arborist in Oxford, please contact us today.

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