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Andrew Louis Surveyors

Royal Town Planning Institute Membership No: 31305 - Full Chartered Member of the RTPI since 1989








Raymond Ashall BA Hons Dip EP MRTPI

Chartered Town Planner

Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute

Arboricultural Surveys and Tree Reports

Trees, Surveys and Planning

Obtaining planning permission can be a complicated process and if your land or property has trees within the the curtilage this is another issue you will have to take into account.

If trees are present on land you are intending to apply for planning permission on we would recommend obtaining an arboricultural survey or ‘tree report’ prior to submission of any planning application.

By commissioning a survey a scheme can be designed with respect to the survey in the knowledge of any complications that existing trees may pose.

We can arrange arboricultural surveys or tree reports to be carried out by suitably qualified arboricultural professionals to recognised BS 5837 survey standards.

If you have already submitted a planning application but the local planning authority have requested further information such as an arboricultural survey or tree report please contact us for cost effective quotation.

Please remember trees may be covered by Tree Protection Orders (TPO’s) either individually or as a grouping.

BS 5837 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction

BS 5837 sets out a British Standard providing recommendations relating to design, demolition and construction. Specifically section 4.4 relates to tree surveys, effectively setting out ‘best practice’  

What is a Tree Preservation Order?

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, or other wilful damage or 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.

Trees in Conservation Areas

It is often the case that trees in Conservation Areas are covered by TPO’s.

What about trees in a conservation area that are not protected by a Tree Preservation Order?

Trees in a Conservation Area that are not protected by an Order are nonetheless protected by the provisions in section 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

These provisions require people to notify the local planning authority, using a ‘section 211 notice’, 6 weeks before carrying out certain work on such trees, unless an exception applies. The work may go ahead before the end of the 6 week period if the local planning authority gives consent. This notice period gives the authority an opportunity to consider whether to make an Order on the tree.

Enforcing tree protection offences

How are offences against a Tree Preservation Order enforced?

Anyone who contravenes an Order by damaging or carrying out work on a tree protected by an Order without getting permission from the local planning authority is guilty of an offence and may be fined.

What are the offences and who can be guilty of committing them?

Section 210(1) and section 202C(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provide that anyone who, in contravention of a Tree Preservation Order cuts down, uproots or wilfully destroys a tree; or tops, lops or wilfully damages a tree in a way that is likely to destroy it; or causes or permits such activities is guilty of an offence.

What are the penalties for committing these offences?

Section 210(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides that anyone found guilty of these offences is liable, if convicted in the magistrates’ court, to a fine of up to £20,000. In serious cases a person may be committed for trial in the Crown Court and, if convicted, is liable to an unlimited fine. Section 210(3) provides that, in determining the amount of fine, the court shall take into account any financial benefit which has resulted, or is likely to result, from the offence.


The above information is only a brief insight into the law and regulations relating to Protected Trees so if you have trees that might effect your proposed development contact us first so as to avoid unnecessary complication and delay in the planning process.

How long will an arboricultural / tree survey take?

Site visits for BS 5837 Arboricultural Surveys or Tree Reports can normally be arranged within 10 days from the date of instruction and we can provided arboricultural / tree surveys throughout the UK

For further details and pricing of our arboricultural surveys and tree reports for planning and development purposes call us today.

Arboricultural Surveys


Tree Reports