The objective of a TPO is to protect trees that make a significant impact on their surroundings, for example, if they form an important feature within the local landscape, or if they have an historical association with the local area.
A TPO can be made in respect of an individual tree, a group of trees or woodland including hedgerow trees but not hedges, bushes or shrubs.
All TPOs made after 6 April 2012 will be provided with immediate provision protection that lasts for 6 months and long-term protection once Central Bedfordshire Council confirm the order.
The 2012 regulations include a requirement for a tree owner to give at least five working days written notice of proposed work on dead trees, unless there is an urgent risk to safety, in which case notice should be given as soon as practicable after the work.
Exceptions: The removal of dead branches from living trees has been included in the list of excepted work, work to dangerous trees is also excepted to the extent that such works are urgently necessary to remove an immediate risk of serious harm, although notice should still be given. Removal of dying trees are no longer excepted and you must gain permission from Central Bedfordshire Council.
All trees in a Conservation Area are subject to controls which enable the council to protect the special character of the area created by the trees. If trees have a specific Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on them, then the normal Tree Preservation Order controls apply.
You must give the council 6 weeks notice, in writing, of your intention to do any work to trees in a Conservation Area. You must not carry out any work during the six week period, which starts from the date of receipt of your notification by the council, unless you receive written permission to do so.
Your proposal will be entered in the 'Register of Proposed Work to Trees in a Conservation Areas', and we may write to local amenity groups or parish councils to inform them of the proposal. We will acknowledge receipt of your notification and may carry out a site visit to consider the proposed work. The council has six weeks from the date of your Notice to consider your proposal, and decide whether it wishes to serve a Tree Preservation Order to control the proposed work.
Information about various tree diseases can be found by using the links below:
Ash tree disease - Chalara fraxinea
Horse Chestnut leaf miner - Cameraria ohridella
The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary and help to bring in new wildlife to your garden, but the wrong hedge can cause you, or your neighbours, unwanted impacts such as subsidence and loss of light.
As of 1 June 2005 the council has powers to become involved if the height of a hedge is causing you concern.
The council can only become involved after you have attempted to find a solution with your neighbour and the correct fee has been paid. Evidence to show that attempts have been made must be presented.
If you need further information or would like to discuss a high hedge please contact the Tree and Landscape Team by email giving your name, address and your reasons for concern.
High Hedges complaint form (PDF 15KB)
High Hedges: complaining to the council document (PDF 395KB)
The Hedgerow Regulations came into force in 1997 to protect the most important hedges in our countryside from being removed.
The Regulations apply to most hedges in the countryside which are more than 20 metres long or which meet another hedgerow at either end.
If you wish to remove a countryside hedgerow you will need to apply to this Council for permission by submitting a Hedgerow Removal Notice. Once the Council receives the notice it has six weeks in which to respond by either approving the proposals, or by issuing a Hedgerow Retention Notice if the hedgerow is found to be important.
It should be noted that garden hedges are not affected by the regulations even though the land on the other side of the hedgerow may be used for one of the purposes set out below. For example, where the hedgerow marks the boundary line between agricultural and residential land, such as on the edge of town, the regulations do not apply.
If you remove a hedgerow without permission you may face an unlimited fine and you may also have to replace the hedgerow.
You do need permission to remove a hedgerow if it is on:
- Land used for agriculture
- Common land
- Land used for forestry
- Land used for the breeding of horses, ponies, or donkeys
- Village greens
- Local nature reserves
- Sites of special scientific interest
You do not need permission under these regulations if:
- The hedge is shorter than 20 metres and not connected to other hedgerows
- The hedgerow is within or makes up the boundary of your garden
- You are removing it to obtain access in substitution for an existing one which provides access to the land
- You are removing it to obtain temporary access to any land in order to give assistance in an emergency.
- You are removing it to obtain access to land where other means of access is not available or is available only at disproportionate cost
The Local Planning Authority have given consent for new development following the submission of a planning application (except in the case of permitted development rights)
- To comply with statutory plant or forestry health order
- To comply with a statutory notice for preventing interference with electric lines
- In connection with statutory drainage or flood defence work
- The work that you intend to carry out is considered as proper hedgerow management, and will not result in the destruction of the hedgerow (i.e. coppicing, laying, and the removal of dead or diseased shrubs or trees)
It is also important for you to check that there are no covenants, planning permissions or conditions requiring the hedgerow to be retained.
Sources of further information:
Statutory Instrument 1997 No.1160: The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 (Crown Copyright 1997)
For further information or advice on an application to remove a hedgerow please contact a member of the council’s aboricultural staff.
If you wish to carry out work to any tree(s) in your garden or neighbouring garden/land that are protected by a Tree Preservation Order or situated in a Conservation Area then it will be necessary to make a formal application/notification to the Council.
To make an application you can either print and complete a form, by selecting one of the forms below and send to the Council or submit the form online via the Planning Portal.
This should be carried out by using the forms below. If you need help in downloading or completing a form or require further information please contact our Tree & Landscaping Section.
Tree works applications
The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 require anyone that wishes to remove a hedgerow on agricultural land to seek the permission of the Local Authority. This is to reduce the amount of hedgerows being removed unnecessary There are exceptions to the requirements to submit a removal notice as outlined in the guidance below.
View tree works applications and the TPO Register