If a protected tree is damaged or destroyed without permission, the owner or the person that has undertaken the work may be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000 and instructed to provide a replacement.
Trees can be a valued addition to any natural or man-made environment. Foremost, they help to improve the visual amenity of both the countryside in its natural setting and the built environment through urban landscaping and featured planting.
They also provide natural shelter and wildlife habitats; release oxygen into the atmosphere and can act to a degree as pollution filters.
Basildon Borough Council has the power to protect trees with amenity value by granting a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
These can be issued to individual trees, groups of trees, woodlands and trees planted as part of a planning condition.
If a tree has been awarded a TPO it cannot be cut down, uprooted, topped or lopped, wilfully damaged or destroyed (including root damage) without the Council's prior permission.
Basildon Borough Council keeps a record of all trees protected by a Tree Preservation Orders (TPO).
If you would like to find out whether trees at your property are protected then contact Planning Services.
If you wish to carry out work to a tree in the Borough that is covered by a TPO you MUST first apply to the Council for its permission.
After the submission of your application an officer will be assigned to deal with your case.
A decision on your application could take up to 8 weeks to determine.
If once the Council's decision is made you disagree with it you then have the right to appeal.
Your application, together with a description of the proposed works cannot be vague, before submitting an application we strongly recommend that you read the Planning Portal's guidance notes on how to complete your application for works to a protected tree.
You can apply online to undertake works to a protected tree - to do this you will need to register as a user on the Planning Portal .
You will need to fill in 3 copies of the Tree Preservation Order application form and include a location plan with the position of the tree in relation to its surroundings. Alternatively, you can contact Planning Services and have the application forms sent to you.
Completed application forms must then be submitted, along with the location plan to:Planning Services
Telephone: 01268 533333