UKTC Archive

RE: Post-planning enforcement period tree failures

Subject: RE: Post-planning enforcement period tree failures
From: Alastair Durkin
Date: Mar 03 2021 12:25:39
Hi John

This would be my take:

1. TPOs have two tests, 'amenity' and 'expediency'. In general it is always 
best to follow Government Guidance in relation to legal statute, and the 
guidance states:

"What does ‘expedient’ mean in practice?
Although some trees or woodlands may merit protection on amenity grounds it 
may not be expedient to make them the subject of an Order. For example, it is 
unlikely to be necessary to make an Order in respect of trees which are under 
good arboricultural or silvicultural management."

The guidance does go on to advise that the risk may not be immediate and that 
general 'development pressures' may be taken into account, but the first 
position is that if the trees are not under threat then a TPO is unlikely to 
be expedient. As such, if trees are shown to be retained on the plans, and it 
is clear that significant consideration has been given to their protection 
through the development process, AND there is unlikely to be any ongoing 
significant pressure on them, then it is unlikely that a TPO will be made. 
However, certainly from my point of view, TPOs tend to be made in relation to 
development more often than any other reason, and this is usually because the 
aforementioned respect for the tree has not been as forthcoming as one might 

2. No, but of course there tends to be more scrutiny on trees within a 
planning context. We can make a TPO on trees that are yet to be planted as 
part of a planning condition, as you will no doubt be aware, but at the same 
time it's vital that the presence of the tree and the amenity value it will 
provide is properly considered. Otherwise an application to remove the tree 
may well be successful if it's position and species has been poorly designed 
for example, as its current level of amenity will be low and it will not 
require vast levels of justification to outweigh a tree of low amenity value. 
Whilst it should not be an issue, there are also frequently resourcing issues 
associated with making lots of TPOs, so officers tend to pick their battles 
quite carefully if that is a localised problem. 

3. Yes. No. Its vitally important, and I probably spend more time arguing 
with developers over landscaping than I do about how they have considered 
retained trees. 

Others will have different views no doubt. After all, it is up to the 
individual LPA to decide when and why it might be expedient in the interests 
of amenity to make a TPO.

Nevertheless, I hope the above helps.


-----Original Message-----
From: <> 
On Behalf Of "john.cooban"
Sent: 03 March 2021 12:04
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: Post-planning enforcement period tree failures

Hello; some questions mainly for Tree Officers, I suppose, prompted by 
another incidence of post-planning enforcement period failure and/or 
disappearance of trees just a few more than five years on from completion of 

1. Why is it that trees that shown on planting (and/or tree protection) plans 
approved to satisfy planning conditions, shouldn't be subject to an automatic 
default consideration of TPO status?
2. Is there a difference between a future amenity benefit sought from trees 
shown on an approved 'landscaping scheme' and the level of amenity 
necessarily attributable to a tree for a TPO outside the context of a 
planning development?
3. Shouldn't 'planning' shouldn't be far more discerning regarding the 
landscape elements of schemes that really merit conditioning for longer term 
benefit? Does a tree shown on an approved planting plan have only the same 
status in planning as, say, the daffodil bulb scheduled on the same plan to 
be planted nearby?

Any answers / thoughts gratefully received.

Kind regards

John Cooban
Crawley, West Sussex.

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The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
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