Local planning authorities are under a duty to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of conservation areas as a whole. A key element of that character and appearance may be the trees.
Anyone proposing to carry out works to a tree in a conservation area must give at least six weeks notice to the local planning authority. There are exceptions to this requirement, including when the tree is dead, dying or has become dangerous and should be reported to the authority. This notice period gives the local planning authority the opportunity to decide if it is necessary to impose a tree preservation order on the tree having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the conservation area.
If the authority decides the tree is not a part of the special character or appearance of the area it may give consent or allow the notice to lapse without response. Otherwise we may refuse consent and consider imposing a tree preservation order.
It is a criminal offence to carry out works to a tree where consent has been refused or where notice was required and not served on the local planning authority. Trees in conservation areas that are already subject to tree preservation orders are subject to that regime only and no separate conservation area notice is required.
Where a tree in a conservation area has been removed illegally or because it is dead, dying or dangerous or causing a nuisance, a replacement tree must be planted.