Trees and hedges

This page is mainly about trees in relation to planning applications.

There is no legal requirement for people to cut back branches which overhang a property, but if someone else’s tree is overhanging your property, you have the right to cut it back to your boundary, as long as the tree does not have a Tree Preservation Order (see below).

If you have an issue regarding a high hedge, please visit our page on high hedges.

You can plant trees and hedges within the boundary of land you own without any form of planning permission or consent.

Carrying out works to trees

It is a criminal offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to undertake any work on trees or hedges which would result in the disturbance or loss of habitat of nesting birds (or bats) between March and August.

Planning permission

Planning permission for new houses or extensions often include certain conditions for protecting trees and hedges. This could relate to existing plants or making provision for new ones. It means prior approval in writing is usually required before carrying out any work to trees and hedges.

Trees within 15 metres of any building proposal should be shown on plans submitted as part of a planning application. The design and depth of foundations can be affected as the cutting of roots is potentially damaging and requires consent.

Tree Preservation Orders

Trees which are of significant importance to the area are protected from felling, uprooting, topping, lopping or any form of wilful damage or destruction.

There are a number of protected trees in Tamworth which are subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). You can view a list of protected trees.

You can apply for consent to carry out work to a protected tree by completing an application form via the Planning Portal.

Once submitted, you can expect a decision within six to eight weeks. If your application is rejected, you can appeal.

If a protected tree is damaged or destroyed without permission, the owner of the tree, the contractor, or both, could face prosecution. This could result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Visit this link for more information on protected trees.

More help

If you need to carry out work to a tree as part of a development, we advise contacting our planning team first to check whether any special conditions or orders apply.

You can do so by calling us on 01827 709709, or by emailing

Other tree issues, such as damaged or fallen trees, can be reported online here.