In accordance to the Planning Act (NI) 2011, where it is expedient to make a tree preservation order, the Planning Department will normally make a provisional tree preservation order first.
What is a Provisional Tree Preservation Order?
Section 123 (1) provides a council an operational mechanism to make with immediate effect a provisional tree preservation order without previous confirmation. The legal protection will only apply for a maximum of six months.
The purpose of making a provisional tree preservation order first, enables further investigation and consideration by the Planning Department and Planning Committee.
In practice, the Planning Department often making a Provisional Tree Preservation Order first, where it is deemed expedient and in the public interest.
It facilitates consultation procedures with ‘persons interested’ as defined in the Planning (Trees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.
There is no legal requirement to issue any public notification.
How do we assess the need for a Tree Preservation Order ?
A Tree Preservation Order is a discretionary operational planning tool. There is no legal requirement for the Planning Department to consider or make a Tree Preservation Order.
The Planning Department will only consider making a TPO where the existing trees are:
- clearly visible from a public viewpoint
- it is in the public interest to provide additional planning protection to the trees due to their aesthetic landscape values and public amenity values
- it is deemed expedient by the Planning Department.
However, the mere fact that an existing tree is visible to the public will not be sufficient to warrant a TPO.
Other assessment criteria apply as set out in existing Best Practice Advice and Guidance from the Department for Infrastructure.
Proposed Tree Works - TPOs
Written consent is required for proposed tree works if an existing tree is protected by a TPO or when a tree is located within a designated Conservation Area.
Requesting written consent for tree works
Where a confirmed Tree Preservation Order is in place, no tree works are permitted, unless through prior written consent from the Planning Department.
If you wish to commence remedial tree works on existing trees protected by a TPO please submit the online request form.
Alternatively, you may wish to submit your request via email or post to:
Environment and Conservation Team
Local Development Plan Section
Mid Ulster District Council
What if a tree protected by a TPO dies or becomes dangerous?
Section 122 (5) of The Planning Act (NI) 2011 states:
‘Without prejudice to any other exemptions for which provision may be made by a tree preservation order, no such order shall apply to the cutting down, uprooting, topping or lopping of trees which are dead or have become dangerous or the cutting down, uprooting or lopping of any trees in compliance with any obligations imposed by or under any statutory provision or so far as may be necessary for the prevention or abatement of a nuisance.’
Tree Preservation Orders do not apply to dead trees or existing trees that have become dangerous to the public.
The Planning Department strongly advices that prior to removal of any protected tree, further advice is sought.
Requesting written consent for tree works – Conservation Areas
The Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 sets out planning powers to protect existing trees located within designated Conservation Areas. Section 127, enables the same protection afforded to trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
Where a designated conservation area is in place, no tree works are permitted, unless through prior written consent from the Planning Department.
If you wish to commence remedial tree works on existing trees located within a designated conservation area, please submit the online request form.
Alternatively, you may wish to submit your request via email or post using the contact details below.
How do I find out more?
If you need to speak to a member of our Planning Department, you can contact a member of the team at:
Environment and Conservation Team
Local Development Plan
Mid Ulster District Council Offices
Telephone: 03000 132 132
Things to Remember:
- Applicants must provide a clear schedule of tree works
- Applicants are strongly encouraged to engage appropriately accredited arboricultural consultants and contractors
- Applicants must obtain permission from the landowner to enter lands prior to the commencement of any remedial tree works. This is a civil matter between interested parties.
BS 3998:2010 Tree Work - Recommendations
BS 5837:2012 Tree in relation to design, demolition, and construction – Recommendations
Planning | Department for Infrastructure