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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 for foundations or trenching,
  • soil compaction caused by vehicles or materials,
  • raising or lowering of soil levels,
  • reducing water infiltration due to surface changes,
  • damage to trees from fires, contact with plant equipment or spilling chemicals/discharging cement washings onto root zones,
  • damage the tree bark and/or branches as result of the demolition and/or construction phase.

When granting planning permission the National Park 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 in the Magistrates Court and it is unlimited in the Crown Court.

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, vehicle registration numbers if the work is ongoing, and when the work was done.

Contact the National Park Authority as soon as possible and give us the details that you have. You can email us at or call us on 0300 456 0030 and ask to speak to the Tree Officer.

We will then investigate the work that has taken place and if necessary proceed with a prosecution. Your identity will be kept confidential if you wish.