Trees

What is the role of the tree officer?
  • To provide advice on trees covered by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
  • To provide advice on trees within conservation areas
  • To determine applications for works covered by TPOs
  • To determine notifications of works to trees within a conservation area
  • To make decisions on TPO requests

Please note:  The tree officer can only give advice for trees that are subject to a TPO or for trees within a designated conservation area.

You are advised to seek your own advice from an independent arboriculturalist or tree surgeon.

What is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?

A TPO is a legal document which means that the written consent of Mid Sussex District Council is needed before any work can be carried out on a protected tree or woodland. 

The aim of a TPO is to stop unneeded tree-felling and pruning.

It also makes sure that replacement trees are planted in areas where tree-felling is allowed.

How do I check if my trees are the subject of a TPO?

Check if your trees are subject to a preservation order - Map

The TPO will be served to you if you are the owner of the trees at the time of the order.

It is also served on neighbouring properties that may be directly affected by the trees.

The TPO is then entered on the Land Charges Register held by the District Council.

If you buy a property with preserved trees on it your solicitor should let you know what you need to do.

Check online

Use our TPO checker for:

  1. Tree Preservation Orders
  2. Conservation Areas
  3. Trees protected planning permission conditions

Enter a postcode or part of an address below to locate a site. 

Click on a tree symbol or hatched area on the map to find more information.

Key:

  • Confirmed TPOs are marked in green
  • Provisional TPOs in amber
  • Revoked/unconfirmed orders in red

Online map:

Check if your trees are subject to a preservation order - Map

Online form:

Find out if your trees are subject to a preservation order - Eform

Printed requests

Find out if your trees are the subject of a preservation order printed form.

Please note: Not knowing about a TPO is not an allowable defence if you illegally work or cut down a protected tree.

Where can I find the TPO register?

Please take a look at our  Tree Preservations Order register.

If you want to request TPOs and other documents relating to tree preservation - please use our Planning and building control document request form.

Can I carry out work on preserved trees?

Yes. 

Please read our TPO guidance notes and send us an Application for tree works.

Please note: Permission to carry out work on a protected tree is not needed if a tree is dead or dangerous.

But you must send us a Five Day Notice telling us of the work you want to do.

My protected tree is dead or dangerous and needs urgent work - what do I do?

You must send us a Five Day Notice telling us of the work you want to do.

You are also advised to fill in a 'Dead/dangerous tree form.

Online dead/dangerous tree form

Printed: Dead/dangerous tree printed form

The five day period will start once your submission has been acknowledged by us.

The work should be limited to what is needed to make the tree safe.

You may be prosecuted if you cannot prove to us that the tree was dead/dangerous and that the work you have done was needed.

Please note: When a tree is felled using a five day notice you have a legal requirement to replace the tree - unless we decide otherwise.

What happens if I carry out work on a preserved tree without the consent of Mid Sussex District Council?
Can I ask for a TPO to be made?

Yes. 

Please use our Online Tree Preservation Order (TPO) form.

Priority for new TPOs is generally given to trees that are considered to be under threat - such as where a new development is proposed.

The trees should be clearly visible from a public place such as a road or footpath and be easily identified.

Please note: Trees in enclosed rear gardens with no public views are unlikely to meet this requirement.

Do I need permission to remove a hedgerow?

Yes. 

Under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 (SI No. 1160) it is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission.

You will need permission to remove a hedgerow if all or part of it runs alongside:

  • Agricultural land
  • Common land including town or village greens
  • Land used for forestry or the breeding and keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys
  • A local nature reserve or Site of Special Scientific Interest

Please send us a Hedgerow removal notice. We will let you know if the hedgerow can be removed within six weeks.

You will not need permission to remove a hedgerow if it:

  • Is shorter than 20 metres - unless both ends join up with other hedgerows or is part of a longer hedgerow
  • Is inside or borders your garden

Please note: Gaps of 20 metres or less are counted as part of the hedgerow.

Nesting birds and other wildlife are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is strongly recommended that you make sure none of these are present before removing any vegetation.

If you remove the hedgerow without permission you may face an unlimited fine and may have to replace the hedgerow at your own cost.

Hedges

How do I complain about a high hedge?

A high hedge is defined as 'a line of two or more mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs which are over two metres in height and which obstruct light or access'.

Householders who believe that a high hedge is affecting the reasonable enjoyment of their property may now ask us to take a look.

We may order the owner of the hedge to reduce it in height if the complaint is justified.

Please note: In most cases where a reduction in height is required the height of the hedge will remain significantly higher than two metres.

Before you make a complaint please read:

If you still wish to complain about a high hedge you must download and complete a high hedge complaint form:

Fees

  • £500
  • £250 for those receiving Housing or Council Tax Benefit

Please note: Fees are payable by the complainant and is non-returnable if we investigate the complaint - regardless of the outcome. There is no charge for an appeal against the Council's decision.

Contact us

Planning
Tel:
01444-477445
Email: treeenquiries@midsussex.gov.uk

Last updated: 06 September 2018