Trees in conservation areas

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There are 18 conservation areas in St Albans District at present, a list of the current conservation areas and maps of each area can be viewed online on our Local Information Service. Because trees are an important part of the landscape within a Conservation Area  they are protected under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 as described below. 

The maximum fine for the willful destruction of a TPO or Conservation Area tree is £20,000 per tree. Willful damage carries the maximum fine of £2,000 per tree.

Criteria for determining Conservation Area Notifications

A tree becomes protected by a Conservation Area if it has a trunk diameter exceeding 75mm when measured at chest height (approx. 1.5m above ground level). If you live within a Conservation Area and wish to cut down, uproot or prune a tree on your property you must give the Council six weeks' written notice before carrying out any work. The Council's arboricultural officer will assess whether the proposed work can be carried out and will use the following criteria:

  • Will the works have a detrimental landscape impact within the Conservation Area?
  • Are the works justified on grounds of condition etc?
  • If refusal is considered, is the tree of sufficient quality and public amenity value to be protected by a Tree Preservation Order?

Please see our web page, Tree Preservation Orders, for further details on these.

There is a register of works to Conservation Area and TPO protected trees published within the Council’s weekly register of Applications, decisions and appeals.

Please contact the Trees and Woodlands section on 01727 866100 or email treesandwoodlands@stalbans.gov.uk. Alternatively you can use the links below if you require an application form and/or guidance notes. 

For a PDF version of this web page, please see download below.

Date of last review: 31 July 2017