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Trees and the Law - TPOs

Trees in South Wonston, whether in public spaces or private gardens, offer an incredible resource, directly contributing to our psychological and physical well-being. They capture air-borne pollutants and green-house gases, ameliorate the effects of downpours, and enhance biodiversity, variously providing food, roosts and nesting sites for insects, bats and birds.

A tree is owned by the person on whose land the trunk stands. Owners may have a legal responsibility to mitigate any associated risk to people and property, but they should also bear in mind the wider benefits to our community. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and associated legislation give statutory protection to a variety of wildlife, including, for example, all birds and their nests.

Next-door neighbours also have rights and responsibilities. In certain circumstances, it may be permissible to cut back overhanging branches and roots to the boundary (though these remain the property of the owner), but such action must not harm the tree.


Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

In the green spaces around the Village and private gardens, where an individual tree, a group of trees or a specific area with trees or hedges, is seen as having particular environmental and other public benefit, the City Council can issue a tree preservation order (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990). A TPO covers the whole tree, including the roots, and prohibits any remedial action without Council consent.

Village trees with TPOs can be identified on the Winchester City Council map linked from the WCC TPOs page. Requests for TPOs can be submitted via the Council website. Concerns about trees with TPOs should be directed to the WCC Tree Officer, whose contact details are on the WCC Tree pages. Requests for permission to undertake any associated work then require a planning application.

Through the Parish Council, the South Wonston Tree Wardens are asked to comment on all planning applications involving TPOs. However, this simply entails an environmental assessment, based on the data provided by Treezilla and an estimate of the effect of any canopy loss.

For any queries please email [email protected] .