A Conservation Area is defined as ‘an area of notable environmental or historical interest or importance which is protected by law against undesirable changes’.
Statutory designation for trees under private ownership in a Conservation area applies a blanket protection to all trees above 75mm diameter when measured at 1.5 metres up the stem. Unauthorised work to trees in a Conservation Area can attracted fines of up to £20,000 for their willful destruction. The designation does not apply to hedges.
If you are in a conservation area and considering work to your trees, then you must notify the local planning authority 6 weeks in advance to give them time to assess the impact of any alterations, and to decide whether to make a Tree Preservation Order.
A person wishing to carry out work to a tree in a Conservation Area must send the local planning authority a notice of his or her intention to do so (a Section 211 Notice). This allows the authority six weeks in which to evaluate the tree and respond to the work proposed.