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The Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation)(England) Regulations 2012

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations, which apply in relation to England only, substantially revoke and replace the Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999, to the extent to which they apply to England. They also revoke the Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2008 and the Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment No. 2) (England) Regulations 2008.

Part 2 prescribes the form of tree preservation orders and the procedure for their making, provisional effect, confirmation, variation and revocation. The prescribed form is set out in the Schedule to the Regulations.

Part 3 of the Regulations sets out prohibited activities in relation to a tree protected by an order and exceptions. Under regulation 13 a tree protected by a tree preservation order may not be cut down, topped, lopped, uprooted or wilfully damaged or destroyed without the consent of the local planning authority, unless an exception applies. These exceptions are set out in sections 198(7) and 200(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and in regulation 14 of the Regulations.

Section 198(7) provides exceptions relevant to section 39(2) of the Housing and Planning Act 1986 (c.63) (saving for effect of section 2(4) of the Opencast Coal Act 1958 (c. 69) on land affected by a tree preservation order despite its repeal) and section 15 of the Forestry Act 1967 (c.10) (licences under that Act to fell trees comprised in a tree preservation order).

Section 200(1) provides that a tree preservation order does not have effect in respect of anything done by or on behalf of Forestry Commissioners on land placed at their disposal in pursuance of the Forestry Act 1967 or otherwise under their management or supervision or anything done by or on behalf of any other person under a plan of works approved by the Forestry Commissioners under a forestry dedication covenant (as defined in section 5 of the Forestry Act 1967) or under conditions of a grant or loan made under section 1 of the Forestry Act 1979 (c. 21).

Regulation 14 contains exceptions to the requirement for consent and regulation 15 contains exceptions for trees in conservation areas.

Part 4 of the Regulations prescribes the procedure for applications for consent under tree preservation orders.

Part 5 prescribes the procedure for appeals and for their determination. Regulation 19 grants a right of appeal in respect of a refusal to grant consent, a grant of consent subject to conditions or a failure to determine an application for consent within the prescribed time period.

In Part 6, regulation 24 provides for compensation claims, subject to exceptions, to be made where loss or damage has been incurred as a consequence of a refusal to grant consent, a grant of consent subject to conditions or a refusal of approval required under a condition.

Part 7 contains miscellaneous provisions. Regulation 25 provides that the prescribed time for the purposes of sections 206(1)(b) (replacement trees) and 213(1)(b) (enforcement of controls as respects trees in conservation areas) is whenever the cutting down or uprooting of a tree is authorised only by virtue of regulations 14(1)(a)(i) or 14(1)(c) (dead or dangerous trees).

Regulation 26 revokes the Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999, the Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2008 and the Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment No.2) (England) Regulations 2008, subject to transitional, transitory and saving provisions in respect of certain classes of order. This regulation also saves regulation 17 of the Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999 (amendment to the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992).

Under section 193 of the Planning Act 2008 (c. 29), all tree preservation orders made prior to the date on which these Regulations come into force take effect with the omission of all of their provisions other than any that identify the order or identify the trees, groups of trees or woodlands to which the order applies.

A full impact assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the costs of business, charities and the voluntary sector has been prepared in relation to these Regulations. The assessment has been placed in the Library of each House of Parliament and is published with the Explanatory Memorandum alongside the instrument on www.legislation.gov.uk). The assessment may also be accessed at www.communities.gsi.gov.uk.

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