Tree preservation orders

A tree preservation order (TPO) - a written order made by a local planning authority - generally makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree protected by that order without our written permission. A TPO can protect one or more trees in a given area. There are around 800 TPOs in Tandridge.

If a tree is protected, an application must be made to us before most types of tree work are carried out. Our TPO guidelines explain how the system works in our district. The latest TPO regulations affecting new and existing TPOs, were issued in 2012.

Find out if a property, area of land or particular tree has a TPO on it or is within a Conservation Area.

If you want to carry out any work on a tree protected by a TPO, you must get permission from us first. You may also want to get advice from a tree expert before applying. In certain circumstances you will need to obtain expert advice to validate your application.

Please apply for permission through the Planning Portal having first read the accompanying TPO Applications Guidance Notes before completing your application.

Once we have your valid application we will consult with the parish council and if the felling of a healthy tree is proposed, adjoining owners will also be consulted for their views. Officers decide most applications, although particularly controversial applications may also be referred to committee. 

We aim to decide all applications within eight weeks, unless we have agreed a longer timeframe with you. We will write to tell you whether permission has been granted or refused.

Please use a reputable contractor with adequate insurance. The Arboricultural Association holds a register of approved contractors.

Please contact us if you want to carry out work on a tree you own, but are unsure if you need permission. You will need to e-mail a detailed plan of the position of the tree(s), the species (if known) and ask for details of any controls applying to the tree(s).

We:

  • Create new TPOs and investigate reports of unauthorised works to trees, sometimes leading to prosecution.
  • Liaise with the Forestry Authority about felling licences and woodland grant applications where protected woodland is affected.
  • Consider the effect of development proposals on trees on potential development sites.
  • Consider landscaping proposals submitted with planning applications.
  • Implement Hedgerow Regulations, requiring permission to be sought for the removal of most non-residential hedges over 30 years old and over 20 metres long.

We are also responsible for trees:

  • The way in which the council's trees are to be managed and the council's position in respect of frequently cited tree related concerns, are set out in our Tree Management Procedures.
  • Trees on council land including our parks, open spaces and housing sites – any enquiries or concerns about these should be raised with us using our tree reporting form.
  • Trees on a council housing property – please contact your housing officer.
  • Trees at the roadside (public roads, pathways, pavements and verges by them) – Surrey County Council (SCC) looks after these and makes sure owners of private land next to roads keep their trees in a safe condition. Report concerns to Surrey County Council.