Trees and Planning Langcliffe Barn and trees

Trees and Planning

Making a planning Application with Trees

Trees and hedgerows are an important feature of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and our aim, as the National Park Authority, is to maintain and increase existing tree cover.

We also have a statutory duty to consider the protecting and planting of trees when granting planning permission.

Where a planning application is submitted for a development which has trees nearby, it is important for applicants to show that the trees have been considered.

It is also worth noting that having trees and hedgerows on a site does not necessarily prevent development.

Our leaflet ‘Making a Planning Application with Trees’ has been written to help you show us that the presence of trees and hedgerows has been properly considered in your planning application. It offers advice on how your development can accommodate and protect them, and what information may be required to do so.

Trees subject to planning conditions

When a planning application is approved conditions may be attached to the approval in order to protect existing trees during the implementation of the development and beyond. Examples of damage that could occur during the implementation of the planning permission include:

  • cutting of the roots during excavation,
  • soil compaction by vehicles or materials,
  • raising or lowering of soil levels,
  • fires,
  • contact with plant equipment,
  • spillage of chemicals.

When granting planning permission the National Pak Authority may consider that it is appropriate to impose conditions that would have the effect of protecting the trees, for example, requiring the erection of protective fencing around the trees during the course of the development or restricting works that would adversely affect them.


The National Park Authority is committed to achieving National Park Purposes through cooperation rather than through legislation.  However in some cases legal enforcement is required, for example when work is carried out on protected trees without the necessary consent or notification.

The maximum fine that can be imposed on an individual, should a prosecution be successful, is £20,000.

Suspect that unauthorised tree work has been carried out?

Take as many notes about the details of the work as you can, including which tree is being damaged, who is doing the work and when the work was done.

Contact the National Park Authority as soon as possible and give us the details that you have. We will then investigate the work that has taken place and if necessary proceed with a prosecution. We will not mention you to any one else that you have reported the incident to the Authority.