Belfast Telegraph

New guide in bid to protect trees

Environment Minister Alex Attwood has launched a new guide outlining the legal requirement to protect trees which make an important contribution to the environment.

The Department of the Environment (DOE) guide provides advice on tree preservation orders with the aim of setting out how they work in simple terms .

The guide explains the requirement to protect valuable trees as the DOE has a specific duty to do so under Article 64 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.

The leaflet also explains what types of trees can be protected, how the protection works by bringing the trees under the control of the department, and where to find information on which trees are protected.

It also sets out what proposed works to trees do and do not require consent and how to obtain such consent.

In June, Mr Attwood announced that courts can now fine developers up to £100,000 if they demolish a listed building or fell trees which are protected by a preservation order — three times higher than those previously in place.

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