Conservation Areas
As you may know, although the Walton on the Hill Conservation Area has been in existence for many years, the Conservation Area in central Tadworth was only designated earlier this year.

The emphasis within both conservation localities is to protect and enhance the character of the area. This means that although certain forms of development are classified as ‘permitted development’, the rules are more stringent in Conservation Areas. If you are planning to extend your property, or change its appearance in any way and are unsure if planning permission is required, we strongly suggest that you discuss the matter with Planning Officers at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council.

Similarly, the legislation surrounding trees is different for Conservation Areas. Following a recent meeting with the Council’s Tree Officer it was noted that there have been problems relating to trees in the Walton on the Hill Conservation Area. Because of this we thought it would be useful to provide some information on what action to take if planning tree works.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)
Many trees are already protected by Tree Preservation Orders. If you are unsure if there are protected trees on your property you can find out by searching on the Council’s web site or by contacting Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. Permission is required before any work can be done to trees protected by TPO’s, such as topping, lopping, felling etc. The Council can provide specific advice on all aspects of tree care for trees with a TPO status. If it is proposed to cut down a protected tree, the Council can insist that a suitable replacement tree be planted should consent be provided.

For more information please visit the following website: Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas - GOV.UK

Trees in Conservation Areas that are not covered by TPOs
In Conservation Areas, unlike elsewhere, if any works are proposed to trees not covered by a TPO, written notice has to be given to the Council. Details describing the proposed works should be given at least six weeks before the work starts. Trees that are less than 7.5 centimetres in diameter, measured 1.5 metres above the ground (or 10 centimetres if thinning to help the growth of other trees) are excluded. There are also other exceptions, for example Orchards, so please do check with the Council before taking any action.

This process gives the Council time to decide whether it wishes to protect the tree by making a TPO. This involves a lengthy procedure that includes giving the applicant an opportunity to object. In reaching its decision, the Council will take account of the amenity value of the tree and the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. Should the Council provide the required consent before the six-week period has expired, the works can go ahead. If it allows the six-week period to end without making a TPO, the works should be completed within two years.

If there is any doubt, the Council’s Tree Officer should be consulted, otherwise an offence could be committed if the Council is not notified of the works.

Your key contacts for any tree related enquiries:
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council Tree & Landscape Officer:
Mr Guy Stephens: email guy.stephens@reigate-banstead.gov.uk
Tadworth & Walton Tree Wardens:
Mrs Patricia Brookwick: email p.brookwick@btinternet.com

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