UKTC Archive

RE: The TPO register

Subject: RE: The TPO register
From: Alastair Durkin
Date: Apr 21 2020 11:05:53
Jon, your waters have been muddied by the poor practice and record keeping of 
individual Councils I think. It is skewing your argument in my opinion. Even 
if there was a strict requirement for the register to be kept in any specific 
form, as opposed to what is being kept (which there isn't), what gives you 
the impression that the record keeping would be any better! 

I remain unconvinced that a register in the format you would like is 
necessary, provided all the required information is kept in a format that can 
be accessed - which was my original point...I think...


-----Original Message-----
From: <> 
On Behalf Of Jon Heuch
Sent: 21 April 2020 11:27
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: RE: The TPO register



Correction: " 'no-one ever asks to see it therefore it's not necessary to 
bother having it' "


These were my words that I was putting into Alastair's argument; he didn't 
make that argument,  but I was anticipating it...not necessarily from him, 
but someone possibly suggesting the register was of little importance.


Whilst there are two separate issues, they are not totally separate; I know 
more about Jerry's case than he told me a little while the planning 
history is on the council's website...& it certainly shocked me that matters 
went so far.




"I doubt the right case will ever happen, because you would need to suffer a 
prejudice from the failure. How would that come about?"


I see a whole range of situations where unfairness and inconsistencies 
occur...& can see that I would be able to find them a whole lot more easily 
if I could get my hands on a register for each TPO I am dealing with. As it 
happens, if a council insists on a high charge for a copy (which they created 
as a pdf a long time ago, but without evidence of confirmation) I do not even 
see the TPO...however, sad beast that I am, I have a collection of old TPOs 
(from around 50 different councils) and know a few councils that make them 
easy to download from their I have TPOs from every year since 
1943 (the oldest) to the present day (although 2012 to date are a little 


So let's consider the following:


i)                    We all know about the uncertainty presented by
councils having poor evidence or even no evidence of confirmation of a TPO.
If a conviction in a criminal court is to succeed it has to be beyond a 
reasonable doubt. Surely, in such circumstances, if a TPO conviction is to 
succeed it has to be beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a TPO in the 
first place? Firstly, councils have to be aware of what procedure should have 
been followed on each date so that they know what they should be looking for. 
If they don't have it, a new TPO should be served and the old one revoked. If 
they don't have the resources, then don't have the TPOs & stop serving new 
ones! I am slowly trying to document what evidence there should be for 
confirmation..& I am surprised that Mynors doesn't provide more details. The 
most important milestone appears to be 1981, before which Minsters confirmed 
and after which councils could confirm..but here's a test. Who knows which 
piece of legislation enabled that change? Is anyone aware of someone else 
documenting the history of TPO confirmation? Who knows what provisionally 
confirmed means? 

ii)                   If a register existed for each TPO (as the individual
TPOs stated it should do prior to 2012), the lack of confirmation of these 
old TPOs would be complemented by a history of decisions. A council may have 
lost the evidence of confirmation, but if a record of previous decisions 
existed & even appeals, we might have more confidence in the confirmation of 
the TPO. If there were no decisions & no signs of confirmation it might be 
argued successfully that there was no valid TPO..Of course we  have the odd 
case where a council has been making decisions on a TPO that wasn't served 
properly or has no record of confirmation or, as I experienced last week on 
trees that are not even included in the TPO dating from 1956!

iii)                 I don't think  you need to look very hard for prejudice
and unfairness in the management of a TPO covering multiple properties.
Inconsistency of decision making is pretty obvious, even if it is due to 
different tree officers making different decisions


"Potentially something to consider for the next iteration of the TCPA and the 


No, Alastair, it's the law of the land now & has been since 1947 ( I think!)




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