UKTC Archive

RE: Basis for TPO's

Subject: RE: Basis for TPO's
From: Charles Bennett
Date: Dec 23 2011 14:50:01
Hi Bill

As I said discussions are two way. Whilst it's not unknown for me to talk to 
myself, (and rock back and forth in my chair in the foetal position), it 
doesn't resolve anything. But if the recipient of the TPO doesn't want to 
talk there's nothing anyone can do. If the trees have been assessed as 
meriting protection, then they merit protection. If the TPO was withdrawn and 
the trees felled resulting in a loss of amenity wouldn't this be 
maladministration. It shall be the duty of.......

Why shouldn't the owner of a protected tree justify themselves when they want 
to destroy something that is of benefit to the wider community. They have to 
anyway on the 1App form whether you like it or not. We've got 1App, we have 
to use it, that's just the way it is.

Some Inspectors are very competent, experienced and qualified 
arboriculturalist, and are perfectly capable of making a judgement on the 
merits of an application to work on a protected tree, or the value of trees 
within a development. Whilst you have every right to request how you want 
your clients appeal to be heard I'm surprised you weren't allowed to attend 
the Committee meeting. It's public, who stopped you. I'm interested in the 
comment that the Committee ignored the Officers advice. Especially as I got 
the distinct impression the Committee was just a rubber stamp for the 
Officers "decision". I think it was Moray who said that we advise and others 
make the decisions, and that's the way it works. We provide professional 
advice to the lay members who make up the Committee. They can take it or 
leave it, as can anyone else we provide advice to.

The defining of expediency and amenity is the reason we have all the various 
ways and means of quantifying and deciding if a tree merits protection. 
People will spin the definitions to suit their, or their Clients needs. As 
TO's we have to take a more objective view and try and apply some reasoned 

Anyway I'm off to Glossop now to see my mum and dad, just as the dutiful son 
should. So have a good one

Charles Bennett
Landscape Architect/Tree Officer
Economic Development
Carlisle City Council
Civic Centre
Carlisle   CA3 8QG
Direct Dial: (01228) XXXXXX

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: 23 December 2011 13:54
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: Basis for TPO's

Oh Charles,
what discussions? There aren't any IME. (which is a system failing, not a TO 
failing) Also, most Officers (Legal/Planning not particularly TOs) are 
reluctant to back down on a TPO once they've gone to the trouble of serving 
it. If they did, this would be tantamount to admitting they've been 
time-wasting... No?

Frequently the Tree Owner doesn't want to cut down the tree, he just doesn't 
want to justify himself should he decide he does, he also doesn't want to 
waste his time with the useless 1app form. Probably. At this point I should 
say that I've only ever objected to TPOs served as a result of development 
applications. In fact I can't think of seeing any recent TPO for any other 
reason. (I accept entirely that most developers don't want to cut down trees, 
they just want to cut all the branches off and all the roots!)

I've also no real confidence that PiNS are completely competent to understand 
the TPO system. I discussed one of my cases with Peter Annett (when still in 
office) who raised his eyebrows at the procedure they'd adopted. I think 
that's as critical as a Government man's ever likely to get. FWIW it I've 
just instigated an appeal and I'm opting for an informal hearing. With fast 
track having replaced written reps, there's no other way of responding to the 
spurious matters that Joe and Joanna had put before the Committee. (Who 
didn't allow me to attend and who ignored the Officers' advice.)

As to your TPO tests. Expediency; is it going to make any difference would be 
a reasonable question. That is will the tree just be left alone as it has 
been previously or still be pruned as it has been regularly. If the answer is 
yes then it's not expedient. (not seeing a TPO for anything beond development 
clearly influences this.)

Amenity? All trees, even dead ones have some amenity. A miniscule number of 
trees are actually hazardous these might be said to have negative amenity. 
Even a Kilmarnock Willow monstrosity has some amenity..... The question is 
how much amenity should it have? You've got to draw a line somewhere, I'd say 
it ought to be above average. I accept entirely that a tree with supremely 
typical form might be above average, and that a tree with extremely atypical 
form might also be above average. The Blue Book only implies that it should 
be above average ("the mere fact that a tree is visible is insufficient" 

I did stick my two penn'orth in to the recent consultation, probably a sight 
more than two penn'orth in fact. FWIW The past Chairman of the AA told me 
that I was the only contractor in the country to bother responding to the 
consultation on the 1app form!


-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Bennett <>
To: UK Tree Care <>
Sent: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 12:33
Subject: RE: Basis for TPO's

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