Trees on private property
Trees and hedges can be of great importance to the character of an area, however, they need to be selected and planted with care and managed appropriately to make the most of their potential to enhance their environment. Trees may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) or other legal procedures to make sure that they are not lost or damaged needlessly.
Lambeth's Planning Service has a Tree Officer who can advise householders on problems with trees on private property, make preservation orders as necessary and consider applications for work to trees on private land.
Tree Preservation Orders
Around 5,000 trees in Lambeth are protected by Tree Preservation Orders. The council considers these trees to be of high amenity value or to have a significant impact on the local environment. Details of the trees protected can be found on the Schedule of Tree Preservation Orders in Lambeth.
A Tree Preservation Order may cover individual trees or group of trees and protects them from unauthorised pruning, felling, topping, uprooting or any other form of damage. Once an order has been made, the council's consent is required before works to protected trees may take place. You can apply for consent to carry out work to trees protected by a TPO using the Application for Work on Trees form. There is no fee involved for applications to carry out work on trees.
For more information about Tree Preservation Orders and carrying out work on trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders, please refer to our frequently asked questions page.
Trees in Conservation Areas
Conservation Areas are places of architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance. Within a conservation area, the council has extra controls over a number of factors including the protection of trees.
In certain situations a Tree Preservation Order may be placed on a tree within a Conservation Area to prevent works being carried out.
Anyone proposing to cut down or carry out work to a tree in a conservation area is required to give the council six weeks prior notice. It is an offence to prune, fell or damage a tree in a Conservation Area without giving notice. You can apply for consent to carry out work to trees within a Conservation Area using the Application for Work on Trees form. There is no fee involved for applications to carry out work on trees.
There are a number of exemptions where you are not required to give six weeks prior notice to the Council. For more information on these exemptions refer to our frequently asked questions page.
You can check if a tree is within a Conservation Area by using the interactive maps in the Planning applications database.
For further information on carrying out works on trees, please visit the Department for Communities and Local Government's Trees web pages.
Street and park trees
Trees growing in the footway or verges of adopted roads and streets are known as street trees. These trees, together with trees in parks and on housing estates, are maintained by the council's Parks and Green Spaces team. They can also offer advice on tree preservation orders.
Hedges are an invaluable part of our environment that can help to screen development, provide privacy and also support a wide variety of wildlife.
A high hedge is defined as a line or two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs, which is higher than two metres.
For more information about high hedge complaints and the new legislation which allows the council to consider complaints, please visit the Department for Communities and Local Government's High Hedges web pages.