Oliver Stutter backs simplification of tree protection orders

Proposed simplifications to tree protection orders (TPOs) have been backed by former London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) chair Oliver Stutter.

Communities minister Bob Neill wants three sets of regulations and orders covering TPOs in England to be streamlined into one document, designed to save councils more then £500,000 in administration costs each year.

Stutter said: "The proposed amendments appear a sensible and overdue revision of complex tree protection legislation that has accreted over the past 40 years.

"The preservation of our tree heritage plays an important cultural role in the identity of local communities and as part of improving quality of life," he added.

"Where they are proven to be worthy of protection, large trees and woodland areas in particular are essential in maintaining biodiversity and in the mitigation of climate change.

"Such legislation will become more important, especially in the retention of canopy cover where pressures for tree removal are unfounded or based on insufficient evidence." The LTOA will be active in suggesting improvements.

- For further details, see www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/treestreamlining consult.

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