Tree Preservation Orders & Trees in Conservation Areas

Planning legislation makes provision for the Council to safeguard trees and woodlands by means of designating Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). A TPO is promoted to ensure, as far as possible, the preservation of trees in the interests of amenity. Also, trees in Conservation Areas are protected as if covered by a TPO.

How many Tree Preservation Orders are there in Inverclyde?

In Inverclyde there are 32 TPOs. Trees in Inverclyde’s 8 Conservation Areas are also protected. The links on this page provide details of where there are TPOs and Conservation Areas.

What are Tree Preservation Orders?

TPOs are a statutory means of control used to protect selected trees and woodlands where it is considered that their removal would have a particularly unacceptable and significant impact upon the local environment and its enjoyment by the public.

A TPO may be made for individual trees, groups of trees, or woodlands and prohibits the cutting down, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees.

Any person wishing to undertake work affecting trees is required to seek the consent of the Council. Consent may be conditional including for example, a requirement for replacement tree planting.

How are areas for Tree Preservation Orders chosen?

The reasons include:-

  • to preserve trees or woodlands in the interest of amenity as they contribute considerably to the character of the area
  • to safeguard the trees or woodlands against unnecessary or indiscriminate felling
  • to retain shelter belts and preserve the natural habitat of wildlife
  • to form an attractive screen to nearby development

Trees or woodlands to be protected by a TPO should normally be visible from a public place, such as a road or a footpath, although exceptionally the inclusion of other areas may be justified. Frequently the inclusion of trees within a TPO may be more for their collective value rather than for their merit as individual specimens. Other factors such as their importance as a wildlife habitat may also be taken into consideration.

How does it affect the owner/occupier?

Permission is required for works to trees. It is an offence for any person to undertake works without the consent of the Council. This may lead, on conviction, to a fine being imposed. Similar controls exist for trees within Conservation Areas.

Page last updated: 10 May 2017