Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Tree Preservation Orders

Thought I'd share an incident with you that happened this afternoon. Around about 3pm I received a phone call from a resident who was in quite an anxious state. The call was regarding a future planning application and some tree felling on the site. The resident stated that they believed some of the trees being felled had protection orders on them and I was aware that the site had a number of trees with what is called Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's). When you receive a call like this you have to act quickly. I made a call to Conwy's Regulatory Services, asked for the TPO Officer and within half an hour was on site surveying it along with the Officer. It turned out in this instance the trees being felled were not protected, however, I have experienced on two other occasions protected trees being felled. One case we won in court and a £10,000 fine was imposed, the other we lost. I feel that chopping down protected trees is an act of vandalism.
Below is some information you may find useful regarding TPO's.

Conwy County Councils' planning (Regulatory Services) department deals with all matters relating to 'amenity trees'; those trees that are grown mainly because they help to improve the quality of our lives, rather than for their value as a timber crop. Amenity trees are found in town and country gardens, parks and other open spaces, or lining the sides of streets, railways and rivers. Not only do they make places more attractive, but they also provide valuable habitats for wildlife, improve the air we breathe, help to conserve energy and much more.
We have strong legislation that protects trees and woods in conservation areas, and gives Conwy's planning authority wide powers to make tree preservation orders (TPOs). This protection is similar in many ways to the listed buildings system and helps preserve our most valued trees. You may ask Conwy's Planning Authority to consider making a TPO for trees that you feel should be protected.

To check whether a tree is protected and to make an application to carry out pruning or felling work to a protected tree, you should contact Conwy Planning department (Regulatory Services) on 01492 575105 or 574000 and ask for Tree Preservation Officer in Regulatory Services.

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