Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Carmarthenshire County Council, as the local planning authority, has a responsibility for the retention of trees in the County.
Trees are an important natural asset and contribute much to the quality of our urban and rural environment. In addition to their visual amenity, trees act to filter noise, light and dust and play an essential role in the ecological system.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
The Council protects trees by issuing Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). A TPO aims to protect trees that make a significant impact on their surroundings, for example, if they are a good example of their species or form an important feature within the local landscape. A TPO can be made by the local planning authority in respect of a tree, group of trees or woodland including hedgerow trees but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. Members of the public may make a formal request for a TPO to be made.
The effect of a TPO is to make it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the Council’s consent.
Anyone can suggest to us that a TPO is put on a tree. We will then decide if it is of enough visual importance to the general public to make a TPO.
You will be told in writing if we intend to make a tree on your land the subject of a TPO, and you have the right to object to the TPO being made.
Even once a TPO is in place, the owner is still responsible for the tree, rather than us. If anyone wants to prune any part of the tree or cut it down, however, they usually need to get our written permission first. The Courts can impose heavy fines or even imprisonment if work is done without permission on a tree covered by a TPO.
Trees in Conservation Areas
Trees within conservation areas are also protected and works to trees in these areas are subject to restrictions even if the trees are not the subjects of a TPO.
In accordance with the legislation, it is an offence to cut down, prune, lop, top, uproot or wilfully damage or destroy a tree in a Conservation Area without giving prior written notice to the Council. The penalties for failing to notify the Council are similar to an offence under TPO.
Applying for Tree Works
The form is available to download above and can be used for applying for Works to Trees Protected by a Tree Preservation Order, and/or Notification of Proposed Works to Tree in Conservation Areas. Applications can also be made online via the Planning Portal website. There is no charge. Only one form is required when submitting your request (we do not require 3 copies).
Viewing Tree Preservation Order and Conservation Areas
Please use our Interactive Mapping System - Plan Access.
Please note, every effort has been made to keep these maps fully accurate and up to date, but they are not legal plans for the purposes of determining which trees are covered by Tree Preservation Orders. New orders are frequently made by the Council and so you are always advised to check with the Council before you do works to any tree.
Obtaining a copy of a Tree Preservation Order
We keep records of all trees covered by TPOs. Copies of all TPOs are kept at Planning Services, 8 Spilman Street, Carmarthen.