Designations and constraints

Tree preservation orders

Trees are an important part of the Lancaster district in both rural areas as well as towns and villages.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an order made by a local planning authority to protect specific trees, groups of trees or a woodland in the interests of amenity. There are currently over 680 Tree Preservation Orders in place across the district. 

A TPO prohibits the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping or wilful damage or destruction of a protected tree without the authorities written consent. Therefore, anyone proposing to cut down, top, lop or uproot trees subject to an Order must first apply to the local planning authority for its consent prior to carrying out any works.

Anyone who contravenes an Order by damaging or carrying out work on a tree protected by an Order without getting permission from the local planning authority is guilty of an offence and may be fined.


Trees in Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas are designated for their special architectural and historic interest and it is recognised that trees or groups of trees can complement and contribute to the area’s character and appearance. Therefore, anyone proposing to cut down or carry out any works to a tree (greater than 75mm diameter) within a Conservation Area must give the Council six weeks’ prior notice, this allows the Council to consider whether the tree should be protected with a Tree Preservation Order or if works can continue.  The boundaries to the district’s Conservation Areas can be found on the Council’s interactive map of heritage assets.

It is a criminal offence to cut, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or fell any tree in a Conservation Area without permission. The maximum penalty is a £20,000 fine in the Magistrates’ Court, or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court.


For further information on trees, please see the main Tree webpage or contact the Development Management Team on dm@lancaster.gov.uk or 01524582950  

Last updated: 15 July 2021