Tree works enforcement

Tree enforcement issues generally fall into two categories.

  • Unauthorised works on, damage to, or the removal of trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) or situated within conservation areas.
  • Breach of planning conditions relating to tree retention and protection.

Report illegal tree works

To report illegal tree works phone us on 01483 755855. You will be transferred to one of our tree officers or a member of the enforcement team.

Unauthorised works

If a tree which is protected by a TPO or located within a conservation area is cut down, lopped or topped, deliberately destroyed, or is damaged, you could be prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court and fined up to £20,000. If committed for trial in the Crown Court, there are no limits to the fine.  

In addition, if you arrange for a contractor to conduct works on a tree protected by a TPO or within a conservation area without our permission, the contractor could be fined up to £2,500 in the Magistrates’ Court. 

Read the government’s information on tree protection offences

Breach of planning

Breaches of planning take place when works take place without our permission. Or, when we have set conditions for the works to take place and these have not been followed or delivered. 

We can issue a Temporary Stop Notice to deal with breaches of tree related conditions. This notice is effective immediately for a period of up to 28 days.

Our tree officers have authorisation (‘delegated powers’) to serve such notices under Section 171E of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. The notice prevents further works on site until we are satisfied that conditions have been met and tree protection details have been agreed.

Breaking the conditions of a Temporary Stop Notice is an offence. If you are found guilty of this offence in a Magistrates’ Court, you could be fined up to £20,000. In a Crown Court, the potential fine is unlimited.