Through experience both within the public and private sectors our consultants are able to provide expert advice in relation to a wide range of tree related legal matters provide a balanced view. Providing preliminary assessments and advice, through to full expert witness testimony to the court, we provide knowledgeable and experienced input to help guide and inform on tree related legal matters.

TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is made by a Local Planning Authority (LPA) in order protect individual or collections of trees, where it is deemed that their loss would have a detrimental harm to the amenity of an area.

The effect of a TPO is to protect trees and the order prohibits the pruning or felling of trees without the written consent from the LPA. If a protected tree is cut down without consent anyone found liable could be fined up to £20,000 in a Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine on indictment at Crown Court.

TPO APPLICATIONS

The Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) 2012, (the Regulations) make mandatory the use of a standard application form for all applications to undertake any works to a tree which is protected by a TPO.

An important element of the new procedures is the requirement to provide specific information in support of applications for work relating to trees which is required because of their condition or the damage they are causing to property. Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants is able to submit applications for works on behalf of their clients and where appropriate write reports in support of an application.

TPO ADVICE

Where necessary, we will object to the imposition of new TPOs and appeal against the decision of the LPA and may consider compensation issues on behalf of our clients.

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants undertakes paper-based and field surveys for LPA’s for the purposes of reviewing and updating TPOs.

CONSERVATION AREAS

Conservation Areas are localities which have been identified by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) as having special architectural or historic interest.  The designation does not only relate to built form, but includes the overall character of the area.  The character assessment includes green spaces, parks, gardens and trees.

If it is intended to carry out works to trees within a Conservation Area, it is imperative that a Section 211 Notification is provided to the LPA to give them a six week timeframe to assess the trees.  There are some exemptions to this requirement and Wharton Arboriculture Ltd can provide detailed advice on this matter.

Failure to make a written notification could result in a fine of up to £20,000 at Magistrates Court, or an unlimited fine if indicted to Crown Court.

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants can provide detailed advice in relation to trees in Conservation Areas and make representations to Local Authorities in respect of tree management.

APPEALS & ENQUIRIES

We are frequently instructed in relation to both TPO and planning appeals whether it be for written representations, Informal Hearings or Public Inquiries.  We have successfully represented both public and private sector clients at appeal, identifying the merits of a case and advising our clients accordingly in a professional manner.

The 2012 Regulations with regards to TPOs only also introduced, a new fast-track appeal system and Inspectors will only be able to consider the information provided with the original application; there will be no written representations procedure available, however the appellant can still request for the appeal to be heard at an Informal Hearing or Public Inquiry. Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants is able to provide advice in regard to appeals and represent clients at Appeals.

HIGH HEDGE COMPLAINTS

The High Hedges Bill was introduced on 1st June 2005 under Part 8 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. The legislation was introduced to ensure that hedges are managed and maintained at an acceptable height.

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants is regularly instructed by local authorities to investigate high hedge complaints in order to formulate remedial notice where required.  We undertake site visit to collate all relevant information:

Actionable Height calculation

Shade analysis

Scope of works and specifications

Management options

We also communicate with all involved parties gathering information relating to the dispute.  The final report will provide a detailed appraisal of the hedge and often a number of suitable management options.

Following a remedial notice being served by a local authority, both the applicant and hedge owner can appeal the decision in a similar way to a TPO.  It is at this stage that we would be instructed by a complainant or hedge owner to make representation, to assist in the appeal process for the Inspectorate who will then make final decision.

RELATED CASE STUDIES

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