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benedmonds

TPO Application time......

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2 hours ago, Gary Prentice said:

PS. Sorry for the delay, I took a week of bed-rest convalescing.

Gary it was worth the wait  and just the sort of reply I was hoping for.

 

Sad you weren't enjoying a holiday somewhere more exotic than bed-rest but  good to see you on form.

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There's two aspects to some of the questions here.

 

For s211, work in Conservation Areas you do not need to submit a full application.  Although you can do it with the 1app/planning portal form.  However, you can simply do it by letter so long as you make it clear what work is to be undertaken and the tree is easily identifiable.  If the application is a bit vague then the TO should contact the applicant/agent to clarify the work.  As there is no validation for a s211 notice the clock starts when the LPA get that application.  The LPA have three options these are:

  • Give consent for the works to go ahead.
  • Put a TPO on the tree (this should only be done if the work is unacceptable).
  • Do nothing.

If the LPA have not given a decision or TPO'd the tree within SIX weeks.  Then the arborist can go ahead with the work.

 

Check with your local TO about how they will accept s211 notices.  I will accept emails from arborists working in our area.

 

The TPO application and determination is a bit more complicated.  There is EIGHT weeks to determine the application.  However, the clock starts on this one when the application is determined as valid.  The determination of validity should be done within 3 days but this is good practice rather than law.  In order for the application to be valid it must:

  • Be on the standard form;
  • include information required by the form;
  • be accompanied by a plan which clearly identified the tree or trees on which work is proposed;
  • be accompanied by such information as is necessary to clearly specify the work for which consent is sought;
  • state the reasons for making the application; and
  • be accompanied, as applicable, by appropriate evidence describing any structural damage to property or in relation to tree health and safety.

(Government Guidance Notes paragraph 65)

 

These are called the necessary requirements and the LPA cannot validate the application without them.  If the application is determined invalid there is a right of appeal through PINS.

 

So really, without a tree report the LPA shouldn't validate the application.  However, that being said I do take a more pragmatic view.  I do believe that it shouldn't be too onerous on the applicant or their agent (the arborist).  If the arborist demonstrates that they have clearly looked at the tree properly and write notes to that effect then I am more than happy to accept that.  The problem comes when the work to the tree is unacceptable or damage caused is ambiguous.  That's when you may need to call for independent reports.

 

The assessment of an application should not be a desk top exercise.  The TO should visit the site.  With the bulk of my applications I have either been out on site with the arborist beforehand or I go and have a look in the validation period.  As I can not validate the application within the '3 days' due to my working pattern, I tend to stretch this to a week.  Obviously, I let the arborist know that I have received the application.  If I agree with the arborists findings then the application goes through.  If not we have a chat.

 

Sorry if you have nodded off!!!!

 

Edited by Spideylj
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WWW.GOV.UK

Explains the legislation governing Tree Preservation Orders and tree...

If you scroll to the bottom and look at flow chart 3 you will find that a TPO application is validated and registered once there is sufficient information i.e. the application is valid. If there isn't then the applicant should be informed and the required information provided. But there's no excuse for not validating a complete application in a reasonable time, three to five days.

 

You cannot submit an appeal for non-determination if the application hasn't been validated.

 

If the tree is imminently dangerous and serious harm would arise there's no need to apply to undertake the works necessary to make the tree safe. Such works are exempt. As there's no application process it follows there's no requirement to submit supporting information. However, you must notify the council as soon as the works become necessary. If you do any works before the council have the chance to see the tree make sure you can demonstrate the risk was real and not perceived.

 

There is no validation process for S211's, they're not applications. See flow chart 5. But that doesn't stop some councils treating them as such. The clock starts ticking on the first full day after the notice was served. You must provide sufficient information to identify the tree and describe the works. If you don't the council can ask for accurate information, but the clock continues to tick. If better information is provided then the council can decide if the works are acceptable to them. If not then the council can ask for the notice to be withdrawn, or TPO the tree. There is no right of appeal to PIN's for non-determination because the council can't determine to refuse the notice, other than by TPOing the tree. Then you are into the TPO process with its rights to object, challenge and appeal.

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1 hour ago, Spideylj said:

Check with your local TO about how they will accept s211 notices.  I will accept emails from arborists working in our area.

Sorry, you don't actually have that much say in what you will or won't accept. It can be on the back of a fag packet, as long as all the pertinent information is supplied.

There is no specific format or form in the legislation, so a LA can't tell the notifier how they actually go about doing the notifying can they? 

 

1 hour ago, Spideylj said:

However, the clock starts on this one when the application is determined as valid.  The determination of validity should be done within 3 days but this is good practice rather than law.

So a LA can be tardy, not validate for two months and then the applicant has to wait another two months for a determination. 

 

I'd love to test that with PINs :D

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16 minutes ago, Gary Prentice said:

So a LA can be tardy, not validate for two months and then the applicant has to wait another two months for a determination. 

 

I'd love to test that with PINs :D

The planning inspectorate is even more tardy (under-resourced) then the worse lpas. They work at a glacial pace..  You would have to be very patient to test with pins..

Edited by benedmonds

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Just now, benedmonds said:

The planning inspectorate is even more tardy (under-resourced) then the worse lpas. They work at a glacial pace..  

Think they're advertising for arb inspectors again, so that might hopefully improve.

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5 hours ago, Spideylj said:

Check with your local TO about how they will accept s211 notices.  I will accept emails from arborists working in our area.

A drunken discussion down the pub at closing time on a Friday night would constitute a valid s211. But it's better to do it in writing. And an email is better again than the back of a fag packet.

 

When considering an s211 an LPA can TPO a tree whenever it likes, either during the six-week notice period, or any time afterwards.

 

One other s211 thing to think about: If the LPA write to the notifier informing them that they have no objection to the proposed work, there is no two-year period within which  the works must be undertaken. I.e. the permission remains valid indefinitely. The two-year period only applies if the LPA allows the six-week notice period to expire, and don't TPO the tree.

 

5 hours ago, Spideylj said:

The assessment of an application should not be a desk top exercise.  The TO should visit the site.

A site visit should be undertaken, but it isn't necessary to validate an application. If the required information has been provided then the application should be validated. If the required information isn't convincing then that's tough on the applicant, but it is their application and it is for them to provide a compelling case. If you disagree with the arborists findings, refuse the application. If by 'having a chat' you mean telling them what to apply for, that would be maladminisration. As I said, it's their application, and they can apply for whatever they want. Of course advising what might be acceptable would be ok.

 

5 hours ago, Spideylj said:

So really, without a tree report the LPA shouldn't validate the application.

Reports are only needed in two circumstances; alleged damage to property, or the alleged dangerous condition of the tree. Other than for the above, the council has no authority to ask for reports. E.g. if the reasons for pruning/felling were to improve living conditions no report would be required.

Edited by EdwardC
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4 hours ago, EdwardC said:

One other s211 thing to think about: If the LPA write to the notifier informing them that they have no objection to the proposed work, there is no two-year period within which  the works must be undertaken. I.e. the permission remains valid indefinitely. The two-year period only applies if the LPA allows the six-week notice period to expire, and don't TPO the tree.

Have you a reference for that Edward?

Below is an extract from my LA in response to a recent notification.  Are they doing it wrong? 

 

 

I refer to your notice received on 26/04/19 informing us that you propose to carry out certain works to trees at the above address, which is located within the Uppermill Conservation Area.  The Council has no objection to this work being carried out subject to compliance with the following specifications (see attached plan for location of trees): 

 

 

This authorisation applies solely to the works scheduled above. Further written notice must be to the Council of any intended variation to the above works or of other works to either the above mentioned trees or other trees on your land. given

 

1.    The consent hereby granted is valid for a period of two years from the date of this decision.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Gary. It's to do with the wording in s211 (3)(b) TCPA.

 

S211 (3)(b)(i) says you can do the works if the council cosent to it, as per your councils letter. However, and importantly, there's no time limit.

 

S211 (3)(b)(ii) says you can do the works after six weeks, but in this circumstance, imposes the two year time limit.

 

Your council is effectively imposing a condition, which they can't do, but many do it this way.

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On 14/07/2019 at 16:46, openspaceman said:

I'm a bit interested as my boss has just tried to make a 211 notification via the planning portal, in fact he gave up and handed it in by letter.

 

He says what it showed was that an application via the portal cannot proceed without a tree report and that has to be by someone with a "qualification". So no point trying to make a notification as it seems to use the same criteria as needed for a TPO application.

 

In a past job I seldom worried about TPOs as we were working on behalf of a statutory undertaking, I'd liaise with the TO and then getb on with the work.

 

My friend says he writes a report and signs it off and it's never queried, he has a BSc in geology.

 

So if the application gets made, is validated and then the report is queried does everything have to go back to day one? Or will the PINS judgement  take no note of a poor reason for the work.

I think he may have been confused. When submitting a 211 notice via the planning portal there is a requirement for a sketch plan and not submitting this prevents completion. But there is no legal requirement for a plan, so long as its obvious which and where the tree/s is/are. IE if its the only tree on the property etc. You can however click "by post" which will then allow completion of the notification. You may need to ring the council and point out you are not actually posting a plan and why or they may hold things up waiting for it or I guess you could mention in the description of the work that you are not sending a plan. 

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