A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a form of planning control that protects trees which make a significant contribution to the amenity of the area. TPOs are usually made to protect trees which are visually prominent, but factors such as wildlife value, rarity or cultural significance can also be taken into account.
The making of a TPO is often prompted when trees are under a known or suspected threat of being cut down or damaged. They are sometimes also made following notification of works in a conservation area. Trees in a conservation area that are over 75 millimetres stem diameter at 1.5 metres above ground level are protected in a very similar way to TPO trees.
It is illegal to cut down, prune, or damage a tree in a conservation area or one which is protected by a TPO, without Bucks Council consent. The unauthorised lopping or felling of a protected tree is a serious criminal offence and can result in a large fine and a criminal record. Fines can be up to £20,000 per tree plus costs, a requirement to replace the tree and a criminal record.
Bucks have recommended the following guidance on how to find out if you have a TPO, how to apply for to protect a tree, what happens if you cut a TPO down without knowledge and other common questions can be answered on this website. This website is linked to High Wycombe maps, here is a list of TPOs in Chalfont St Peter.
Any request for a Tree Preservation Order within the Chiltern and South Bucks areas should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org (or by post) giving information, including species and plans where possible, about the tree or trees proposed for protection, and the reasons why a Tree Preservation Order is considered to be appropriate. Any tree proposed for protection should be prominent in views from public places, such as roads or footpaths, and should generally be at risk for some reason as there is little benefit in protecting trees that are under good management.
Don’t risk a £20,000 fine, check before you fell a tree!