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Oak tree Preservation help?

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Any support on how to successfully prevent a neighbour cutting down an old oak tree?


The houses in two streets were built in the late 50's around a long line of oak trees - the trees forming a natural boundary between the gardens of each street.

One street even has the name 'Oak' in it.

One house is being sold and the incoming buyer wants to buy it on the condition he/she can cut down the 60y+ old healthy tree and develop the house and garden.

Neighbours up in arms about it. They want to get a preservation order on the tree.


Are there any helpful hints on what can be written/ presented to the relevant council to prevent them giving permission to remove the tree?

I've just been advised, but apparently the council meeting is tomorrow!

Its a relative's house; but not mine.


I've got google earth photos which show the long line of trees and how magnificent this specific tree is out of all the trees.

Any suggestions welcome.

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Aren't there any interest groups around the Internet that have specialist experience of this kind of thing?

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We're short of a lot of information here, but my first question is that if "Neighbours up in arms about it. They want to get a preservation order on the tree" surely some of them have already objected to the plans of the purchasers of house?


If it were me it wouldn't just be the tree that had me up in arms but probably even more so the plans to "develop the house and garden".

For the latter I'd expect there to have been a planning application which would have been notified to neighbours inviting them to object/comment.


If you look up the address on the council's planning website you should be able to find exactly what the purchaser has asked planning permission for and what comments have been made already for the council to consider tomorrow. There are timescales for making comments on planning applications which you have almost certainly missed.

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Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-preservation-orders-and-trees-in-conservation-areas

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There is no planning application yet because the buyer has not bought the property yet. I checked with the local council site. Apparently purchase of the house is dependent on being able to cut the tree down. If the tree is not protected the buyer will buy the house and will apply for permission to do whatever works he/she wants (subject to approval)

Yes the other neighbours have started to complain and ask everyone to write to the council.


The size of the tree means it must be very old. It was already large, apparently, in late 50's. The council even has a page dedicated to trees - old, special, landmark - and celebrating them in the borough. They have protocol to follow - perhaps the way to go is to get the tree assessed, proving its age and 'importance', to prevent cutting it down?


Its not a conservation area.


I am helping by researching/ reading as much as I can online

If I'd been told about this before this afternoon - i day before the council meet - I'd have had time to prepare and help relative better

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You'll have to check if there's a tree preservation order in the house deeds or in the council record.

If not it's very likely they will cut the tree down without much opposition from the authorities.

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Thanks King12345


All very last minute for relative - so I was up for hours researching with an early morning deadline for the council today.

The neighbours wanted to get a TPO - tree protection order. However, upon research, it seems that a TPO can be pretty worthless if an incoming developer adds 'felling a tree' into their planning application. Planning Permission can override a TPO. How silly is that??!!


It seems that the way to get round that is to ask for the council to assess the tree to be classified as 'special interest' / of 'veteran/ antique value' / of historical import/ make it a 'Landmark' tree/ of 'community value' etc etc.

In some instances this won't be possible.

In this case - with only hours to research and write up - I tried to assert the 'value' of a whole avenue of trees; chop down one very old and healthy tree; soon the whole avenue has gone. Threw in wildlife habitats, conservation, carbon footprints, history, negative impact on neighbours etc....

Hoping it works for relative and other neighbours...

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