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Appealing against a Tree Preservation Order

Find out how to appeal a decision about a tree preservation order or replacement order decision. Check how long the appeals process takes and the deadlines for appealing a TPO decision.

APPEAL AGAINST TPO: Some trees have special protection according to preservation orders.

It is the local council authority who make the decisions about working on trees protected by a TPO.

But, you can make an appeal if you already applied to carry out work on a protected tree, or cut it down, and:

  • You disagree with, or dispute, the decision made by the council.
  • The council failed to make a decision within 8 weeks of your application.

There is a similar process to make an appeal if you disagree with a tree replacement notice given to you. There is no fee for appealing against a tree preservation order.

Important: Making a successful ‘works to trees‘ application means you can work on trees protected by a TPO (e.g. trimming, topping, uprooting, or lopping branches).

Deadline for Appealing a TPO Order

If the council failed to decide on an application within the eight week time frame there is no deadline to appeal. But, the deadline for other appeals will depend on what you are appealing against. Thus, you must:

  • Appeal within 28 days of the date when the council made the decision notice.
  • Appeal before the date that a tree replacement notice would take full effect.

How Long it takes to get a Decision

First of all, all appeals need to get validated. Once that has taken place, in most cases you would get a decision within six months (27 weeks).

How to Appeal a Decision about a TPO

You will need to fill in the correct form. Use the tree preservation order appeal form for a decision of consent to carry out work on a tree or cut it down.

Use the tree replacement notice appeal form to oppose the process of replacing a tree. In both cases, you will need to send:

  • A copy of the decision or notice given to you by your local council.
  • Any other documents that have a direct relevance in support of your appeal.

You can either post the documents or send them by email. Either way, send them with the completed appeal form to the same council who made the decision and to the Planning Inspectorate as well.

Planning Inspectorate

Environment Appeals
Environment Appeals
Room 3H Hawk Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

Email: [email protected]

Planning Inspectorate Validation

The next step is for the Planning Inspectorate to check the appeal. They will need to make sure it is valid. Having validated the appeal they will then inform you of the next step and how long the process may take.

The Planning Inspectorate base their decision for an appeal on several factors including:

  • Information sent to them by the appellant.
  • A personal visit to the site in question.
  • The council documentation on the case (e.g. the tree preservation order).

In some cases, they may need extra information from you. If so, you will receive a letter from the case officer. As a rule, you will get a final decision within six months (27 weeks).

Contacting any Interested Parties

An ‘interested party’ is someone who commented on the original application. It is not uncommon for the council to contact any ‘interested parties’. The case officer will also consider any statements provided by interested parties.

Note: Once the appeal has started, interested parties cannot make any further comments. But, they may, and can, decide to withdraw their original statement.

Claiming for an Award of Costs

If anyone behaves ‘unreasonably’ in the appeal process it could cost you money. Missing the deadline would be an example of someone behaving ‘unreasonably’. In this cases, you can ‘apply for an award of costs‘.

There is a set complaints process if you are unhappy by the way the Planning Inspectorate handled the appeal. Making a complaint about the Planning Inspectorate has no time limit or deadline.

Disagreeing with the Appeal Decision

You can also challenge the final decision in the High Court. But, this would only apply if you believe the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake. It may be best to seek advice from a lawyer before taking this option.

How to Appeal a Decision about a Tree Preservation Order in the United Kingdom