UKTC Archive

Re: Basis for TPO's

Subject: Re: Basis for TPO's
From: andersonarb
Date: Dec 23 2011 13:21:37


As its the season of goodwill,  I will try and hug a Tree Consultant -
just to make them feel important and loved.




-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Wynn <>
To: UK Tree Care <>
Sent: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 9:50
Subject: Re: Basis for TPO's

Dear Daniel,
I'm sorry if you feel I've been critical of any particular TO or indeed TOs 
in general. I've tried very hard to keep my criticisms directed to "the 
system" and I can't say I've any real truck with any TOs. In fact I welcome 
their criticism and a chance to debate with them whatever it is we might have 
disagreed about. I'd prefer to see a robust appraisal of my output and 
objections, rather than have a simmering tension. In general when I get to 
meet with TOs we have fairly frank and open discussions, which I've been told 
often reinforce the TOs POV. I've said before, I don't think me and TOs are 
that far apart, but I don't know when they're getting their arms twisted. And 
equally, I've also had it pointed out to me, and accept that I don't 
necessarily see the whole picture. (My frame of reference might be one 
particular site while theirs is several sites in the vicinity, which might be 
highly relevant to my case.)

I'd also point out that one of my local bete noirs is an LPA who don't employ 
a TO at all, I never miss an opportunity to ask them for their TO's 
opinion..... FWIW I've tried to be supportive of one local LPA's new TO, 
whose two predecessors were both made ill by work and forced to retire.

If you can tell me where I've not been even-handed I'll reappraise whatever 
comment it was that made you think that way.

I am critical of the methods used by my local LPAs which are not completely 
BB compliant, frequently being told that they are compliant, invariably by a 
Legal Officer who's never even looked at it up until speaking to me. If 
you're taking my criticism of TOs serving and then considering objections as 
criticism, it is quite clearly a critique of a system, not of an individual. 
It doesn't matter if the TO has changed his mind 180 degrees, he/she 
physically can't be independent..... Incidentally, I've objected to TPOs, and 
had the TO acknowledge that hidden decay means that a tree shouldn't be 
included, only to see him interrogated by the Members as to whether he might 
be wrong when he's modified the TPO before confirmation. That was as 
insulting to him as it was to me! (Insulting? alright I might be getting 
hyper-sensitive there....)

Furthermore I have been to the LGO about the procedures followed by an LPA in 
confirming a TPO. They told me that I'd got to go through the Council's 
complaints procedure first, and I now know what a thankless, convoluted task 
that is, clearly designed to get rid of the serial whingers, not to deal with 
genuine grievances. I'm pleased to know that you fear the LGO's wrath, but 
the procedure is a sufficient faff that I can't see anybody engaging me to 
get any closer than the above example any time soon. (Yes I do advise clients 
of the difficulty of complaining to the LGO, it would be disingenuous not to!)

Anyway if anyone's taken my postings personally, I'm sorry they're not 
intended to be, and I've been fairly regularly told by TOs that my appraisal 
of TOs frequently being used as "tools of development control" is spot on, 
not that they'd ever put that in writing. I also had quite a decent chat with 
Mr Mynors himself (at Exeter last time the conference was there) about the 
effectiveness and misuse of the system, and my opinions are very close to 

Incidentally, there's not a lot of business in objecting to TPOs, once you've 
told the TPO recipient that their chances of success are nearly nil, they 
back down. I'm quite open about this, I've only once been successful in 
objecting to a TPO, and even with that one I was promised a letter containing 
a revocation, which as you can imagine has never arrived. This also does no 
favours to anyone, as the client for that particular job rang me up from a 
meeting with the Planner who was of the opinion the TPO was valid. The client 
wants me to go and cut the trees down so there's no doubt, I've refused of 
course, most of em could stop no matter what he builds. But this illustrates 
the way TPO misuse is counter-productive.




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