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Apply for or notify us about tree works

Getting consent

It is an offence to carry out work to a protected tree, or remove it, without our approval or that there are permitted by limited exceptions. You could be prosecuted and fined up to £2,500. If you destroy a tree without consent you may be fined up to £20,000. You may also be required to plant a replacement.

For trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), you need to submit a tree works application and receive consent before carrying out work.

To carry out work to trees in a Conservation Area, notice is required for works to trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level (or more than 100mm if reducing the number of trees to benefit the growth of other trees). Notification of works must be given by writing to us 6 weeks in advance. The work may not start during that period unless otherwise informed by us.

There are no fees required for these applications.

Dead or dangerous TPO/TCA trees

Anyone proposing to carry out emergency tree work in respect to a dead tree(s) that is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or in a Conservation Area or for works to a tree(s) that are considered to be urgently necessary to remove an immediate risk of serious harm, must notify us in writing,  5 working days prior to carrying out the works (5 Day Notice). Notice can be given, either by email to [email protected] or by letter to:

West Northamptonshire Council 
The Guildhall 
St Giles Square 

Please provide a written statement from an arboriculturist or tree surgeon stating/explaining the possible circumstances around the tree’s death and how/why the tree is going to cause immediate serious harm, and what works are proposed. Also, include a description of the trees location or mark its position on a plan.

If you intend to carry out tree works considered to be covered by any exception, you are strongly advised to retain evidence, for example: material from the tree; photographs; a tree surgeon’s report; an independent witness statement. We may require you to prove that the tree works were exempt at a later date.

If we agree that the work does not require consent, this does not mean that no other regulations apply. For example, Natural England must be consulted if the tree is known to support a bat roost.

Last updated 08 December 2023