Protecting Cheltenham's Trees

Some trees are subject to a certain amount of protection, on criteria determined at national level:
1. A Tree Protection Order (TPO) can only be applied to a tree which fulfils certain criteria, for instance rarity of species, shapeliness, importance in the local scene and so on.  The owner must have a good reason to wish to fell such a tree, but the degree of protection is fairly limited, and obviously dead or dying trees must be felled for safety reasons.

2. In Conservation Areas of the town any owner of a tree must apply to the Council for permission to fell or heavily prune. The degree of protection is less than that for TPO trees.
Where someone has applied to the Borough to fell or heavily prune a tree, whether a TPO tree or in a Conservation Area the Borough's Tree Officers send out a list of the relevant sites every fortnight to a whole list of consultees, including ourselves. Applications are viewed online to glean any further details (such as reason for wishing to fell).

We aim to to visit sites where an application has been made and assess as far as possible whether the request is reasonable. Criteria would include the place of that tree in the neighbourhood -- for instance is it a rare species, is it important in the street scene, will it be much missed if it goes, would a replacement be suitable? If severe pruning has been asked for, might there be a gentler solution that would satisfy the owner? We send these comments to the Borough Tree Officers who then decide whether to permit the works or not. They take our comments along with those of others into account, as representing what members of the general public may feel about that tree, but quite often there will be technical reasons for allowing the works to proceed as requested by the owner. Cases that might be contentious are often referred to the Borough Planning Committee

Street trees are the responsibility of Gloucestershire Highways, not the Borough.

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