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Tree Preservation Orders, also known as TPOs, are imposed, by the local planning authority, to trees that require protection. Such Orders restrict dealings with those trees affected, and prohibit the same being wilfully damaged or destroyed, uprooted, felled, topped or lopped. 
If such works are proposed to trees, covered by Tree Preservation Orders, then the written consent of the relevant planning authority must be obtained prior to the commencement of any work. The consent, often, is granted, however, is granted in accordance with certain conditions that are to be followed. The conditions can allow the work to take place, however, can place restrictions on the same to ensure the trees remain adequately protected. 
Further guidance on Tree Preservation Orders, and their importance, can be found here

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Who imposes a Tree Preservation Order? 

Tree Preservation Orders are imposed by the local planning authority, therefore, the local council will hold all such records pertaining to Orders in the area. 
For one, however, the Jackson Oak Tree, in the United States, is said to own itself. The 16th-18th Century saw the growth of an acorn tree which, when the acorns fell, led to the emergence of the Jackson Oak. It is, therefore, now known as ‘the son’ of the original tree. 
For the trees that our Preston solicitors come across, however, this is not the case. It is down to the pre-contract stage of your conveyance, to determine whether there are any Tree Preservation Orders in existence, that you should be aware of. 

How do I find out if there is a Tree Preservation Order on the property I am purchasing? 

Such matters would be revealed within your conveyancing searches, and would be revealed as a registered Local Land Charge against the property. See our Preston solicitors’ blog on the importance of conveyancing searches, and their role within your conveyancing transaction, here. Where there is a Tree Preservation Order in existence, this means that certain trees, covered by the Order, are protected. It would then be down to your Preston solicitors to raise the necessary enquiries in this regard, for example: 
- Requesting a copy of the Tree Preservation Order. Sight of a copy of the Order itself, would confirm the exact restrictions being imposed and would also provide for a plan, showing the area covered by the order, which would assist with the below. 
- Confirming exactly which trees are covered by the Order, and whether the same relate to those located within the boundaries of the property you are purchasing. Often, such Orders are in place to cover an area as a whole, such as a new build development. It is, therefore, important for your property solicitor to seek clarity on exactly which trees are affected, and whether this will place any obligation on you as the new owner of the property. 
- Enquire as to whether the seller of the property has ever experienced any issues with the same, for example, in making attempts to cut back the tree that have been challenged or refused. Your Preston solicitors would also want to know whether any works have been carried out to the tree(s) concerned and, if so, that the relevant authority was sought, by way of documentary evidence. This would be to ensure there are no potential liabilities or enforcement action placed with the property in such respect, that could go on to affect you upon taking ownership of the property. 
- Taking the above a step further, additional enquiries may be raised with the local authority concerned, to provide responses to any more specific enquiries that the buyer has, that the seller would not be able to accurately answer. 
As you can see, the enquiries raised by your Preston solicitors can assist in determining how such Orders may be set to affect you, and can provide very useful information. Enquiries are an extremely important stage of your conveyance and are an opportunity for you, and your conveyancer, to find out all you wish to know about the property, good and bad. See our blog on conveyancing enquiries, here, for more information. 
Before proceeding to completion, you should ensure that you are happy to do so. See our blog in which our property solicitors in Preston have devised a trusty checklist that you can use to ensure you are satisfied, by following this link
If, therefore, you are purchasing a property and have concerns that there may be a Tree Preservation Order in place, contact MG Legal’s property solicitors in Preston today, at, where one of our local solicitors will be on hand to assist you. 
If you have any other conveyancing enquiry, our team are always happy to assist. Submit your query via the above email address, or via our online enquiry form, and we shall contact you as soon as possible. 
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors 
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