Monday, 7 March 2016

Tree Preservation Order

For so long I seemed to work on large projects devoid of trees, even when I worked in insulation, supporting Styrofoam insulation, the only trees I saw were growing in rain water gutters and I might add, doing very well. But they were not of interest to the local authority, and certainly not worth saving, it was only in later years when I started the extensions that I came up against TPO's, or Tree Preservation Orders.

So what are we talking about, well trees have certain rights, the planning portal has a lot on this subject, but the general opening page gives it straight :

A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in England to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An Order prohibits the:
  • cutting down
  • topping
  • lopping
  • uprooting
  • wilful damage
  • wilful destruction

of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent. If consent is given, it can be subject to conditions which have to be followed. In the Secretary of State’s view, cutting roots is also a prohibited activity and requires the authority’s consent.

Local planning authorities can make a Tree Preservation Order if it appears to them to be ‘expedient in the interests of amenity to make provision for the preservation of trees or woodlands in their area‘.

Authorities can either initiate this process themselves or in response to a request made by any other party. When deciding whether an Order is appropriate, authorities are advised to take into consideration what ‘amenity’ means in practice, what to take into account when assessing amenity value, what ‘expedient’ means in practice, what trees can be protected and how they can be identified.

In my experience, local authorities seem to take a view that all trees are subject to a TPO, so best to check, before removing it, and don't forget, this applies both to clumps of trees, and hedge rows.

You might also want to get hold of a local Arboricultural Consultant  a tree man/Woman, who will advice on the species, and how to deal with it, the link I have added is to the National Association for Arboriculturalists.

This also heads directly into BIM, for a long time I surveyed trees for local parks and private clients, we added tree symbols with a lot of data attached, from simple species and latin names to tree height, canopy spread, trunk size, and general condition, plus it was linked to a massive database for the various reports made over the years, we even made a dead or died field, this tree was then hidden away, but not forgotten, as we so often had to print maps with dead trees on, colour coded for years or months that they died, showing disease patterns across estates. Exporting this information both as IFC, but mostly as Cobie of spreadsheet files.

We also noted the types of trees that used or consumed a lot of water, Black Popular for instance, very interesting in location of buildings and trying to remove them, the effects on the construction can be,,,,,, interesting. But more on this in a new blog I am planning.

There is a lot to cover in this subject, so my suggestion is to head over to the planning portal and read.

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