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Tree Protection in Conservation Areas

Stinchcombe Conservation Area

Many of us live within the Stinchcombe Conservation Area (see the area marked in green on the map). 

Protection for Trees

Not everyone realises that this gives automatic protection to any trees on our land above a certain size. You can also see it on this map. Cutting down, lopping or wilfully damaging a tree with a diameter of more than 75 mm at a height of 1.5 m above the natural ground level is an offence. Unless a Section 211 notice has been submitted to Stroud District Council (SDC).  The notice must be submitted at least 6 weeks before the work is carried out. To enable SDC time to consider it. 

Exceptions

  • a tree being felled solely to improve the growth of other trees must have diameter less than 100mm
  • SDC’s Planning Enforcement Policy states that consent is not required for dead, dying or dangerous trees
  • If a planning application that includes specified tree work. It can be treated as a Section 211 notice for works to trees immediately affected by the proposed development.

Replacement

Landowners have a duty to replace felled trees with another tree of an appropriate size and species, in the same place, as soon as they reasonably can. SDC has the power to enforce this duty or to grant a dispensation in response to a written request.

Enforcement

SDC’s Planning Enforcement Policy puts complaints involving protected trees into the “Priority Complaints – Requiring Immediate Investigation” category.  They have six months to bring a prosecution. This could lead to a fine of up to £20,000 in the magistrates’ court or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court. In many cases they may negotiate remedial works with the landowner or issue an informal warning rather than prosecute.

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