Trees play an important role in shaping the rural and urban landscapes of Huntingdonshire.  As part of our services, we look to protect and enhance trees that are subject to Tree Preservation Orders and those which are in conservation areas.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

What is a TPO?

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a legal designation used to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands where they are considered to be valuable to the local landscape.  The council has powers to protect trees by making new TPOs where it considers important trees are under threat, or in recognition of special trees.  Additional information regarding protected trees can be found on GOV.UK.

IMPORTANT: Carrying out unauthorised work on a protected tree is a criminal offence. You could be fined up to £20,000 and will be required to plant a new tree

How do I find out if a tree has a TPO, and how do I get a copy of the order?

Please call our customer services team on 01480 388424 with the address, postcode, location and type of tree. We will be able to tell you if the tree is protected by a TPO or is in a conservation area.

We can also provide you with a hard copy of the TPO or a digital copy if available. The current charge for copies is £3, and payment can be made by credit or debit card when you call.

When you are buying a property, the presence of a TPO should also be highlighted by the search of the Local Land Charges register.

Can I carry out works to protected trees? 

IMPORTANT: Carrying out unauthorised work on a protected tree is a criminal offence. You could be fined up to £20,000 and will be required to plant a new tree.

To apply to carry out works to a protected tree you can use the Planning Portal.  This is a quick and easy way to make sure we receive all the information we need and allows you to manage your application. There is no fee for submitting an application for tree works.

Submit a Tree Works Application Online

All applications will need to clearly state the work(s) that you are intending to carry out, give reasons for this work and also include supporting plans and photographs.  Without these details will not be able to process your application. In some cases, we may also require reports or technical information to support your application but will advise this on a case by case basis.

You are encouraged to seek the advice of an arboricultural specialist before making an application. Details of specialists can be found through the following organisations:

Once we have received all the information we need, we will advertise your application.  There is no legal requirement for us to consult with other groups or neighbouring landowners. The case officer assessing your application may also need visit the site.

When we have reviewed your proposals, we will either grant permission (without or without conditions), refuse your application, or grant permission for a lesser specification of works.  If we refuse your application, our response to you will explain why we are unable to grant permission and explain how you can appeal to the Secretary of State.

How do you make a Tree Preservation Order?

We have the powers to protect trees where it is beneficial and in the interest of amenity. This means that the tree(s) are important and its removal would have a significant impact on the local environment.  Anyone can request a new TPO and this can be done by email or letter.

You should provide any supporting information you have about the tree(s) and its history as well as plans showing its location and any other information you feel is important.

We will assess your request and advise you if we think that a new TPO would be appropriate. Information about how we assess the amenity value of trees can be found in Tree Guidance Note

All requests should be sent to trees@huntingdonshire.gov.uk  or by post to:

Trees and Landscapes
Development Services
Pathfinder House
St Mary's Street
Huntingdon
PE29 3TN

How do I give notice to carry out works to a tree within a conservation area?

If you live in a conservation area and want to carry out work to any trees with a stem diameter of 75mm or more, you will need to give the council six weeks written notice before the work begins. This is called a “Section 211 Notice”.

Carrying out unauthorised work to trees in a conservation area without giving notice to the council is a criminal offence. You could be fined up to £20,000 and will be required to plant a new tree.

How do I know if the tree is in a conservation area?

You can view the designated conservation areas in Huntingdonshire to see if your tree is within a conservation area.

How do I give notice to carry out works to a tree within a conservation area?

You are encouraged to submit your notice of tree works through the Planning Portal. This ensures you submit all the information we need to assess your notice and there it is less likely to be a delay in processing your notice.

What happens next?

Once we have all the information we need, we will consider your notice and let you know if the planned works can go ahead. In some circumstances, we may serve a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to protect the tree(s) and prevent works from being carried out.  If we do this, we will explain exactly why we have and what the TPO means.