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Guidance on Trees, Hedges and Woodlands

Trees make a valuable contribution to the natural and built environment.

We have a statutory duty to protect important trees and woodlands through the planning process via the use of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), Conservation Areas and through conditions attached to a planning permission.

Tree FAQs

Tree Preservation Orders

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an Order made by the Council, giving legal protection to high value trees or woodland. Once a TPO is in force, it becomes an offence to work on or cut down the tree without permission.

 If you would like more detail on the full legislation around tree protection, you can find it on the GOV.UK website: TPO's and Trees in Conservation Areas

Find a TPO on a map: Mendip Online Maps

Apply for Works to Trees Subject to a TPO: Apply for Planning Permission

Guidance for applications for works to trees subject to a TPO: Tree Works Guidance

Request to get a tree protected: Request for a tree to be protected under a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) 

Trees in conservation areas

All trees in conservation areas are protected from unnecessary felling or lopping.  If you live in a conservation area you are required to notify us six weeks in advance of any such work through the standard planning application process. Failure to apply and to cause unlawful works to trees is an offence and can result in fines of up to £20,000.

If you would like more detail on the full legislation around tree protection, you can find it on the GOV.UK website: TPO's and Trees in Conservation Areas

Find a conservation area on a map: Mendip Online Maps

Notification of proposed works to trees in a conservation area: Apply for Planning Permission

Guidance for applications for works to trees in a conservation area: Tree Works Guidance

Trees on development sites

Trees on development sites may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and/or by conditions attached to a planning permission. It is important that such trees are properly protected during construction. Any work being carried out close to a tree will need to be in accordance with British Standard BS 5837:2012 - Trees and Construction.

Hedgerows

A countryside hedgerow is a boundary line of bushes which can include trees which are protected by the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. If you are planning to remove a section of protected hedgerow you are required to notify us six weeks in advance of any such work through the standard planning application process. It is a criminal offence to remove a protected hedgerow in contravention of the regulations.

 If you would like more detail on the hedgerow protection, you can find it on the GOV.UK website: How to Report a Suspected Hedgerow Offence

Apply for a Hedgerow Removal Notice: Apply for Planning Permission

High Hedges  

Hedges can be used as garden boundaries, but this can cause issues if they're too high. Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 allows local councils to deal with neighbour complaints about high hedges. The process of making a complaint is much more rigorous than making a normal enforcement complaint and will require a fee of £500.

 If you would like more detail on high hedges, you can find it on the GOV.UK website: High Hedges Complaints

Make a high hedge complaint: High Hedges

High Hedges

It is estimated that thousands of people are adversely affected by high hedges, but if the owner of the hedge is unwilling to co-operate there is little the person affected can presently do.

Tree FAQs

Frequently asked questions about trees.

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