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Other Tree and Hedge Protection

In addition to Tree Preservation Orders, Conservation Areas and the Hedgerow Regulations, there are a number of other potential ways in which a tree or hedge may be protected. The most common ways are explained below.

Planning Conditions
When Planning Consent is granted on/for a property, planning conditions are often attached to the consent notice. Where trees are present on/adjacent to an application site, it is common for a condition requiring the retention of trees and/or hedgerows to be attached. This may be to ensure the establishment of trees/other vegetation planted as part of a landscaping scheme, or to protect existing features on site.


An example of the latter would be the following condition: 'No tree within the site shall be wilfully damaged, cut-down, up-rooted, topped, lopped or destroyed, nor any hedge within the site cut-down or grubbed out, without the prior approval in writing of the Local Planning Authority'. These conditions are generally used to provide short-term protection, for example for 5 or 10 years following planning permission.

It is important to check, prior to carrying out works to trees or hedges at your property, whether a condition restricting works to trees has been attached to any Planning Consents affecting your property. The easiest way to find this out is to check the original consent notice(s). If you are unable to locate these but believe the property may have been granted planning permission in the recent past then you may need to enquire to ourPlanning department for further clarification.

If your property is affected by such a condition, and you wish to undertake works to a tree or hedge covered by it, then you will need to apply in writing to our Planning department, giving details of the works proposed and quoting the planning application and condition numbers.

Felling Licences
Under the Forestry Acts the quantity of timber that can be lawfully felled on a property without having first been granted a Felling Licence, is limited to not more than 5 cubic metres (as long as no more than 2 cubic metres are sold) within any calendar quarter.

In most cases, where a single tree is to be felled or trees are to be felled within a garden, there may be no need to apply, but there may be circumstances where a felling licence is necessary.  Download the Tree Felling: getting permission (PDF) [362KB] (opens new window)  leaflet or visit the Forestry Commission (opens new window)  for more details.

Restrictive Covenants
A restrictive covenant is a private agreement that is then placed in the title deeds to a property. As the name suggests, they tend to restrict how a property may be used/managed. They are sometimes used to restrict the management/removal of trees and hedges.

You should consult your property deeds or your Solicitor to find out whether your property is affected by such restrictions. As Restrictive Covenants are private agreements, we are unable to undertake such checks or to provide advice.