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Tree Preservation Orders

Tree Preservation Orders

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a statutory protection afforded to trees under the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Why protect trees?

Trees can have a high amenity value and can make an important contribution to the environment, creating a varied, interesting and attractive landscape. They can help define the character of an area and create a sense of place. Trees also provide wildlife habitat and contribute to the health and well-being of humans. TPO’s are imposed in order to protect selected trees or woodland if their removal is likely to have a significant impact on the local environment and its enjoyment by the public.

What types of trees are covered?

The order can cover anything from a single tree to a woodland and all types of trees can be protected. Unless a woodland TPO is proposed, only trees over 3.5m in height are considered for a TPO. Hedges, bushes and shrubs will not be protected.

How are TPO’s initiated?

All requests for a TPO should be sent to our tree officer for consideration. Additionally we may initiate TPO’s as a result of a planning application or in response to any perceived threat.

Are trees in a conservation area protected?

Trees in a conservation area are subject to protection as though a TPO is in place. In a conservation area anyone proposing to carry out works to trees must apply to us. We will consider the proposal and respond within six weeks. Work cannot proceed until we have responded or the six week period has expired.

If we consider that the proposed works should not be carried out, we will impose a formal TPO to cover the specific trees. In exceptional circumstances, where there is imminent danger, the applicant may proceed, at risk, with works immediately but must submit evidence to us in the form of a report from a suitable qualified arboriculturist and dated photographs.

Can I carry out works to protected trees?

If you wish to carry out works to protected trees you must first seek our consent. Any application for consent must be in writing and contain a statement of the reasons for making the application and specify, by reference to a map, the trees or woodland to which the application relates and the operations for which consent is required.  Completed applications should be sent to our planning office at the address below.

Planning Department
Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
Bridgewater House,
23a Castlewellan Road,
Co. Down,
BT32 4AX

Tel: 0300 200 7830 (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm)