Planning - trees and high hedges

Service information

Trees at Corporation Park


What is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?

A tree preservation order (TPO) is an order made by a local planning authority (LPA) in respect of trees or woodlands. The principal effect of a TPO is to prohibit the:

  1. cutting down,
  2. uprooting,
  3. topping,
  4. lopping,
  5. wilful damage, or
  6. wilful destruction.

of trees without the LPAs consent. The cutting of roots, although not expressly covered in (1) and (4) above, is potentially damaging and so, in the Secretary of States view, requires the LPAs consent.

How can I find out whether a tree has a TPO?

To ascertain whether a tree is protected by a TPO or Conservation Area, please contact the Council giving the full address details of the tree(s) in question.

How do I apply for a TPO?

If you would like to request that a new TPO is made to protect a tree(s), please use the online form and provide as much information as possible to justify your reasons.

How do I apply for permission to work on protected trees?

If you would like to carry out work on protected trees, please complete the form and return to us.

Planting and managing trees in your garden

Visit the Arboricultural Association website for information on:

  • choosing the right tree for your garden;
  • tree planting;
  • young tree maintenance;
  • mature tree management;
  • planting trees;
  • maintenance and management of trees;  
  • tree surgeons and consultants throughout the country;
  • how to choose an arborist.

High hedges

What is a high hedge?

In the eyes of the law a high hedge is defined as a barrier to light or access and is formed wholly or predominantly by a line of two or more evergreens and rises to a height of more than two metres above ground level.

Is my hedge within the law?

You can find out whether your hedge is within the law by using the high hedge calculator.

Is my hedge blocking my neighbours light?

There is a useful booklet to help people assess whether an evergreen hedge is blocking too much daylight and sunlight to neighbouring properties

Settling disputes

The Council encourages people to try and settle any disputes with neighbours about high hedges between themselves.  The documents below provide useful advice and guidance on how to do this.

Over the garden hedge - this leaflet provides advice on how to settle your hedge differences without involving the local authority. This process must be attempted before a complaint can be made to your local authority

High hedges complaints: prevention and cure - this detailed booklet contains useful information and guidance on how to settle high hedge disputes yourself.  The booklet also explains how to complain to the council, what type of complaints the Council will consider and how it deals with them.  Information on high hedge legislation and appeals is also available. 

I have tried to settle the dispute myself but this has not worked - can the Council help?

The types of complaints that the Council will deal with are highlighted in the high hedges complaints, prevention and cure booklet.  The Complaining to the Council leaflet explains what will happen if the Council gets involved.

Complaining to the Council

If you would like to complain to the council about a high hedge please complete and return the form.


Appealing against a Council decision

High hedges - appealing against a Council decision - this booklet explains the procedures for appealing.

Appeal application form


The developers section will assist developers who are looking to carry out work in areas where there are protected trees.

Contact details

Mail Development control, Regeneration and environment, Room 1, Town hall, Blackburn. BB1 7DY
Phone Number(s) 01254 585786
Fax Number(s)  
Extra Information
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