Wokingham Borough Council is making it easier to find out about tree protection near you, thanks to its new web mapping technology.
Have you ever wondered if that silver birch outside your home is protected? Now it will be easier to find out thanks to the Council’s new web mapping service. This is part of a suite of improvements being rolled out during this year, as we look to create smarter, leaner ways of working. This is part of our 21st Century Council programme.
Trees across the borough are protected in several ways. Trees growing in Conservation Areas are protected, as are those covered by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). By using the new web map, people can check online whether or not trees are in a Conservation Area or whether they have a TPO.
Wokingham Borough Council’s Cllr Julian McGhee-Sumner, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance and Corporate Resources, said: “Tree preservation orders are key in protecting individual trees, groups, woodlands or whole areas of trees. Our new technology, which has already helped a number of people in the first few days of being launched, makes it easier to find out what you need to know.
“One of our driving aims behind the 21st Century Council programme is to create smarter, more efficient ways of working. This new web map gives you answers within seconds, rather than necessitating a lengthy, physical journey to consult us.”
A TPO can cover a single tree, a group of trees, or an entire woodland (including self-seeded saplings). There are thousands of protected trees in the borough, and TPOs protect a wide variety of native trees and also non-native ornamental species. The age of trees can range from a few years to those which are many hundreds of years old.
Whilst residents will still need to check the planning history of an area of land to see if trees are protected by conditions, this is a huge improvement on the level of service the council has offered previously.
Conveyancing solicitors will also benefit from the map, as a TPO is served on the land, and will be referenced in land searches. Now they can find out information much more quickly and so new owners of houses will learn of a TPO before they purchase a house.
Find out more about TPOs by going to our website.