Skip to content

Emergency works to protected trees

The local planning authorities consent is needed for carrying out work on diseased or dying trees unless work is urgently necessary because there is an immediate risk of serious harm. If you intend to do this, you are strongly advised to collect evidence in the form of photographs, a tree surgeon's report and/or an independent witness statement. The Council will require you to prove that the tree (or any part of it) was an immediate risk and likely to cause harm. If there is no immediate risk, five working days prior written notice must be given to the authority before cutting down or carrying out work on a dead tree.

Tree owners, their agents and authorities should consider biodiversity. Dead trees and branches can provide very valuable habitats for plants and wildlife, which may also be protected under other legislation. To conserve biodiversity it can be good practice to retain dead wood on living trees and at least the lower trunk of dead ‘ancient’ or ‘veteran’ trees unless, for example, safety reasons justify removal. Safety has priority, but safety considerations may not necessitate removal of all dead branches on living trees or the whole of a dead tree. It may be helpful to seek expert arboriculture and ecological advice.

Please make it very clear that you are submitting a 5 day notice ( and include the supporting information) so it can be processed within the prescribed timeframe. If this has not been made clear it may be treated as a normal notification/application.

Last reviewed: