Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 4th September 2014
Title of Item/Report
Scrutiny Review of Tree Preservation Orders
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented the Environment Select Committee findings following the Scrutiny Review of Tree Preservation Orders.

The main issues and overall aim of this review was:-

• To consider the legislation and the division of responsibilities with regard to tree management within the Council

• To identify any issues arising from legislation or Council process

RESOLVED that the Scheme of Delegation be amended to require the appropriate Head of Service to provide the final determination for Tree Preservation Orders following the consideration of the Principal Tree and Woodland Officer.
Reasons for the Decision
1. This short review provided the Committee with the most up to date situation in relation to the process of making a Tree Preservation Order.

2. A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority in England to protect individual trees, trees within an area, or groups of trees of any size or species or whole woodlands in the interests of amenity. Anyone wanting to cut down, top, lop or uproot trees subject to an Order must first apply to the local planning authority for its consent unless the proposed work is exempt through an exception.

3. The number of applications rose 40 per cent in 2013 for which the explanation given was an increase in concern over the effect the weather was having on the stability of trees, and more general views about the location of trees.

4. Stockton Council’s system was found to be robust but trees can be a contentious issue with the possibility of harming the reputation of the Council depending on the decisions taken.

5. The Committee believes that additional, but not burdensome, checks and balances should be in place to support the valued work of the Principal Tree and Woodland Officer to ensure the continued good relationships between the Council and residents affected by the proximity of trees to properties.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 12th September 2014

Date of Publication: 08 September 2014

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