Before carrying out work on any tree you will need to check to see if it is protected.
Trees may be protected by a TPO, or because they are in Conservation Areas, or because they are part of a relatively new development and maybe protected by Planning Conditions.
It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any trees protected by a TPO or within a Conservation Area.
If you cut down a protected tree without permission you could get a fine up to £20,000 from the Magistrates’ Court.
If you carry out work, without permission, but it doesn’t destroy the tree, you may still have to go to the Magistrates’ Court and can be fined up to £2,500.
In serious cases a person may be committed for trial in the Crown Court and, if convicted, is liable to a much larger fine.
To find out if a tree is protected by a TPO or is in a conservation area, and to get a TPO reference, call us on 01223 457200. Alternatively, you can check if an address is in a conservation area or if it has a tree preservation order by visiting our online planning portal and selecting the property tab to carry out a search. The information you require will then be listed under the heading constraints.
If you live outside Cambridge, read South Cambridgeshire District Council’s page about trees on and around your property.
Get a copy of an existing TPO
Use our online form to request a copy of an existing TPO. You will need the tree location (address) and/or the TPO name and reference. A copy of the order will be emailed to you free of charge.