Tree preservation orders and trees in conservation areas

Silver lime tree

Tree preservation orders

The tree preservation order (TPO) protects trees which make a significant contribution to the local environment.  There are approximately 532 tree preservation orders (TPOs) in place in Cheltenham. 

A TPO makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any protected tree without first having obtained permission from us.

All types of tree can be protected in this way, whether as single trees or as part of a woodland, copse or other grouping of trees. Protection does not however extend to hedges, bushes or shrubs.

  • Before carrying out work on a tree covered by a TPO you must first apply for permission
  • To check whether a tree is covered  by a TPO please contact us
  • Please note the new tree preservation legislation that came into force on 6 April 2012 which affects all existing and new tree preservation order 

TPOs are recorded in the Local Land Charges Register which can be inspected at your council offices.

When purchasing a property, the official searches carried out by your solicitor should reveal the presence of a TPO on the property or whether your property is within a conservation area where trees are automatically protected.

A TPO will not prevent planning permission being granted for development. However, we will take the presence of TPO trees into account when reaching our decision.

Trees in a conservation area

Trees in one of the seven conservation areas in Cheltenham (Central, St. Marks, Prestbury, Cudnall, Charlton Kings, Swindon Village and Bafford) are also given a level of protection.  This means that before work can be carried out on trees (with diameters of 75mm and above, measured at 1.5m from ground level) in these designated areas, a formal notification must be submitted to the tree protection officer. This will enable us to assess the tree's potential for a tree preservation order. 

For more information about undertaking work to trees in a conservation area contact the tree section.