At the recent Planning & Community Committee meeting, Cllr Richard Skegg raised concern about a little-known Tree Protection Order (TPO) covering the South Lake area of Woodley.
TPO-0003/1951 prevents any unauthorised works or felling of any tree, from sapling to fully established tree, regardless of age, origin, quality, or value to the neighbourhood within the South Lake area of Woodley, south of Silver Fox Crescent, east of Kingfisher Drive, west of Nightingale Road and north of the A3290, as shown by the bold red boundary in the picture below.
Any works to trees in the area require planning permission from Wokingham Borough Council (WBC), without which residents who undertake tree work are potentially liable for prosecution.
Planning consent can be applied for via WBC’s Planning Portal.
The only significant exceptions are for dead/dangerous trees or commercial fruit production; however, more details can be found HERE.
Cllr Skegg is to draft a letter to WBC, detailing the Planning & Community Committees’ concerns and request that it examines a more effective method protecting relevant trees within the area than the existing blanket TPO, which many residents are unaware of.
Changes to the TPO would raise awareness with local residents, reducing accidental breaches, allowing residents to maintain their trees properly without fear of inadvertently breaching the rules. It would also make it easier for Council tree maintenance for both WBC and Woodley Town Council.
In line with Climate Change and both Councils’ commitments to be carbon neutral by 2030, changes to the TPO could also potentially create a public debate about tree protection and the importance of protecting these vital assets.
We will keep residents informed on progress.