TPO’s and Trees in a Conservation Area

Some trees are protected with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) which requires permission for them to be worked on.  Tree within a Conservation area also require permission for tree work.  

There are heavy fines if tree work is undertaken without permission, not only for the person carrying the work but also for the tree owner.

Greenacre are very experienced in the completion of all of the paperwork required to gain permission to work on trees either with a TPO or in a Conservation area.  

We work closely with local authority Tree Officers and Planning Departments on a daily basis.  Our experience helps us to offer customers advice on the type and extent of tree work that will be allowed and we will take care of all of all of the application paperwork too.

What is a Tree Preservation Order?

A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in England to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity.  

An Order prohibits the:

  • cutting down

  • topping

  • lopping

  • uprooting

  • wilful damage

  • wilful destruction

of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent. If consent is given, it can be subject to conditions which have to be followed. In the Secretary of State’s view, cutting roots is also a prohibited activity and requires the authority’s consent.  Source: Department of Communities & Local Government

More information can be found on:  Department of Communities & Local Government web site

If you are unsure whether your tree has a TPO, you can ring your local authority Planning Department and they will be able to let you know.

What is a Conservation Area?

Many of our cities, towns and villages contain areas of architectural or historic interest which have a particular character considered worthy of conservation.

A Conservation Area is an area deemed by the Department to be of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve and enhance, as designated under Article 50 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991.

Great importance is attached to the preservation of the existing character and appearance of such areas allied to the promotion of their economic well-being.  This includes the preservation of trees within these areas.

Am I in a Conservation Area?

Most local authority websites have maps or lists of streets which are in conservation areas, if you are in  doubt contact the local authority planning department.  Links for Suffolk conservation areas are below:

Ipswich Borough Council

Suffolk Coastal District Council

Mid Suffolk District Council

Babergh District Council

TPO and Conservation Area Application Process

Making an application to carry out work on a tree with a TPO’s or for a tree in a conservation area is not as daunting as it may seem and Greenacre are can help you.  

We can offer you advice or complete the application on your behalf, free of charge.  The process, from the Council receiving the application takes 6-8 weeks and may involve a visit from the local authority Tree Officer and conditions may apply such as replacing a tree.

If you would like to complete the application yourself, please select the link relevant to your area below to download the relevant forms:


Ipswich Borough Council: Application form and Guidance notes
Suffolk Coastal District Council: Application form and Guidance notes, they also have a Geographical Information System so you can see if your tree has a preservation order.
Mid Suffolk District Council: Application form and Guidance notes
Babergh District Council: Application form and Guidance notes
Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury City Council: Application form and Guidance notes
Waveney District Council: Application form and Guidance notes

Or you can complete the Application online