Trees in Conservation Areas
What is a Conservation Area?
Local authorities have the responsibility to designate Conservation Areas, defined as:
'an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.' - Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
Trees often contribute to the character and appearance of the area and are afforded a level of legal protection.
Stratford-on-Avon District currently contains 75 designated Conservation Areas.
Do I require permission to undertake works to trees in a Conservation Area?
Yes, you must notify the Council if you wish to undertake pruning works or fell a tree. It is not a formal application as such but you must provide the Council with 6 weeks notice of your intention to undertake works to a tree in a Conservation Area. You can use the same form used for seeking consent to work on trees the subject of a TPO.
or a Notification form can be obtained by calling 01789 260304 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
You do not need to give notice of work to a tree located in a Conservation Area if it measures less than 75mm in stem diameter when measured 1.5m above ground level.
What happens if a tree in a Conservation Area is also the subject of a Tree Preservation Order?
If a tree is located within a Conservation Area and is subject to a TPO then normal Tree Preservation Order procedure apply. You must submit an application form with supporting information and obtain consent prior to undertaking works to the tree.
To download 1APP form number 26 and guidance notes for proposed works to trees the subject of a TPO.
To submit via the Planning Portal
or an Application form can be obtained by calling 01789 260304 or e-mail email@example.com
What happens once you have submitted your 6 weeks notice of your intention to undertake works to trees in a Conservation Area?
If we are content with the details within the Notice, you will receive a letter confirming that your Notice is acceptable for registration and that the process will take 6 weeks. If the detail within the notification is not clear or very specific, we may contact you to clarify your proposed works prior to registering your notification.
Why do you have to wait 6 weeks before undertaking works to trees in a Conservation Area?
The 6 weeks allows the Council to assess your notification and make a decision as to whether or not we agree with your proposals. We will consult the local Parish Council and the local Ward Members. If you do not receive a Notice of Decision within the 6 week period, you are then legally entitled to carry out the works specified in your Notice. If we disagree with your proposals and consider that the tree is of significant public amenity value, we may make the tree the subject of a Tree Preservation Order or persuade you to either change your proposals or withdraw your notification.
If I get consent for works to trees in a Conservation Area, how long does the permission last?
If you get consent for the works, then this consent will be valid for 2 years from the date of the Planning Authority's Notice of Decision letter.
What will happen if I undertake work to a tree in a Conservation Area without submitting a notification to the Planning Department?
If you deliberately destroy a tree, or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be liable to an unlimited fine up to £20,000 per tree. You may also be fined if you cause or permit such work. If you undertake work to a tree without consent but does not result in the destruction of the tree then you could be fined up to £2,500. In determining the amount of fine, the Magistrates Court will take into account any financial benefit arising from the offence. You will normally have to plant a replacement tree if it was cut down or destroyed.