Trees are important and some are protected by the council.
These protected trees are either located in a Conservation Area, or covered by a Tree Preservation Order, planning condition or the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme.
Where a tree is protected consent must be given by the council in writing before you do any works to it including cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, severing roots, wilful damage or destruction.
How do I know if my tree is protected?
The interactive map shows where the Tree Preservation Orders, Conservation Areas and Estate Management Schemes are. The online database of planning applications will help you to find out if a tree is protected by a condition on a recent planning application.
Do all tree works need consent from the council?
If you wish to carry out works to a protected tree you must apply to the council for consent. Anyone who carries out work without consent and is found guilty may face an unlimited fine. Felling of trees which are not subject to a TPO may still require a Felling License from the Forestry Commission, failure to fell under a proper license is an offence subject to a penalty.
Dead, dying or dangerous trees can be removed without submitting an application. However, the onus of proof rests with you. If you wish to remove a tree for these reasons you are strongly advised to contact the Development Management Department before you or any other person or company undertake any works. You will be asked to give five days written notice of the works.
Can I ask for a tree to be protected?
Tree Preservation Orders were introduced to enable Local Planning Authorities to protect important trees. They can be placed on any tree or group of trees, of any age, which have amenity value and are in a good physical condition. Dead, dying or dangerous trees, maintained hedges, bushes and shrubs cannot be protected. If you would like us to consider placing a new Tree Preservation Order write to us with details of where the tree is, what type of tree it is and why it is important.
How do I apply for consent to carry out works to a protected tree?
To apply for works to trees make an application using the planning portal you should also refer to the guidance notes. Clearly mark the location and species of the tree(s) on a plan. The description of works needs to be clear and the reason for the works needs to be included. Please supply a contact telephone number because an appointment may be required to view the tree(s). No fee is payable for these applications.
Applications for works to protected trees are processed in a similar way to planning applications. You can check progress on your application in our online database. We may ask your neighbours and others for their views before we make a decision. We will either refuse consent or grant consent with conditions. Conditions typically require the planting of replacement trees, where trees are felled, or specify the standard and/or the timing of work and an expiration period.
If your application is refused or a condition placed on it that you are unhappy with, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. In the meantime, you should not do any works to the tree.
You can apply to the council to remove the condition using the application forms.
Should an application for works to a tree covered by a Tree Preservation order be refused, you can appeal by contacting the Planning Inspectorate within 28 days:
Planning Inspectorate email@example.com
Room 3H Hawk Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Should an application for works to a tree covered by the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme be refused you can appeal by writing to us. Further information can be found under Estate Management Scheme Appeals.
If we have refused notice of works to a tree in a Conservation Area by placing a Tree Preservation Order we will send you details of the review process when we write to you.