Trees are an important part of towns and villages, as well as the countryside, on Exmoor. They have numerous benefits from reducing heating bills, providing valuable wildlife habitats, to just simply being an attractive and interesting feature.
As such, there are protective measures in place to conserve some of our valuable tree resource. The following protections apply across Exmoor:
These are made under provisions in the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act and the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation)(England) Regulations 2012, and are used to prevent the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping willful damage or willful destruction to a tree or groups of trees that have significant, or potentially significant, amenity value.
Trees within Exmoor’s Conservation Areas are also protected. There is special provision for these within the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act, and so they are afforded the same level of protection as trees with TPOs.
Planning Permission Conditions
Sometimes it is necessary to add conditions to planning permission consent to ensure that trees are included as part of the development. Those trees that are to be retained, and the measures to be taken to protect them will be described in the planning permission consent, but trees on development sites will usually be protected for up to 5 years.
The felling of trees is also controlled through the 1967 Forestry Act. This means that it is an offence to fell more than five cubic metres of timber in any one calendar quarter without permission from the Forestry Commission.
There are other forms of protection that may apply, such as trees on Sites of Special Scientific Interest or Confirmed Bat Roost trees. If you are in any doubt as to the protected status of your tree or trees you should contact ENPA for advice.