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Trees in Conservation Areas

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest and fine examples of the Borough's unique and varied heritage. They invariably have a concentration of historic buildings many of which are statutory listed buildings or locally listed buildings.

There are 20 Conservation Areas in Dudley Borough. Some are canal centred, some are set around open space or canals and others around local shopping or residential centres. They are a particularly important part of the Borough's heritage, which the Council is committed to preserving and enhancing.

Whilst most of the legal implications of living in a conservation area relate to buildings and development, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 makes a special provision for trees in conservation areas.

Anyone proposing to cut down or carry out work to a tree in a conservation area is required to give the LPA six weeks prior notice. The purpose of this requirement is to give the LPA an opportunity to consider whether the tree preservation order (TPO) should be made in respect of the tree.

Giving Notice

Notice must be given in writing and must describe the work proposed and include sufficient particulars to identify the tree(s). It may be useful to use the 'Notice of Intention Application Form' available in the download section opposite, although you do not have to do so.

However, using the form should ensure that you provide the correct information necessary to enable your notice to be dealt with as quickly as possible. You will receive a written reply before the end of the six week period.

If the tree already has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) then consent must be obtained before work can be undertaken.

Any agreed work must be completed within two years or a new notification of intent must be made.

Penalties

It is an offence to undertake any work on trees in a Conservation Area without giving six weeks notice to the Council. Works on trees include:

  • Cutting down

  • Topping

  • Lopping

  • Root pruning

  • Uprooting

  • Damaging or destroying

If you are in any doubt about the need to notify the Council contact the Tree Protection Officer

Exemptions

There are a number of exemptions to the notification requirement. You do not have to give the LPA six weeks notice for:

  • Work on a tree with a diameter not exceeding 75mm (or 100mm if cutting down trees to improve the growth of other trees i.e. thinning operations). The diameter as measured at 1.5m above ground level. In case of multi-stemmed trees, the exemption only applies if the diameters of all the stems are less than 75mm or 100mm, as the case may be.

  • Cutting down trees in accordance with a felling licence granted by the Forestry Commission or a plan of operations approved by the Commission under one of their grant schemes.

  • Cutting or removing garden hedges (unless there are specific planning conditions relating to your property).

  • Cutting or removing garden shrubs.

Dead, Dying Or Dangerous Trees

There are exemptions from the need to notify the Local Planning Authority before cutting down or carrying out work to trees that are dead or dying or have become dangerous.

However, the law is quite complex on this issue. Determining whether a tree falls within the scope of the exemptions is not always a straightforward matter. It is recommended that advice should be sought from the Council prior to carrying out work to trees under these exemptions.

  • Planning Help Desk
    Development Management, Planning and Economic Development, Directorate of Place, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 1HL

    Email: development.control@dudley.gov.uk
    Telephone: 01384 814136

    Opening Hours

    Planning Offices and Reception
    Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm

    Please note that the offices are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays

    Duty-planning officer
    9am-5pm Monday to Friday

    Site Inspections
    between 10.00am and 2.00pm each day