Planning constraints

Tree Preservation Orders

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an Order made by the Council, giving legal protection to trees or woodland. A TPO prevents cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or destruction of trees (including cutting roots) without the Council's permission.

Anything that would normally be called a "tree" may be covered by a TPO. There is no minimum size but bushes or shrubs cannot be covered by a TPO. In certain circumstances, fruit trees can also be protected, providing they offer reasonable public amenity. The purpose of the TPOs is to protect trees for the public's enjoyment. Trees protected by TPOs shoud normally be visible from a public place but in exceptional circumstances other trees may be protected.

Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest. They are designated by the local authority, which have both a statutory duty to designate them, and also to preserve or enhance their special character or appearance.

Sefton's Conservation Areas range from the variety of buildings, impressive architecture and layout of Lord Street in Southport to the Victorian urban landscape of Derby Park in Bootle.

The purpose of a Conservation Area is to assist in retaining the character of an area. It doesn't mean you cannot do anything, but extensions and alterations must be in keeping both with the building and the general use. Good design should be a priority for anyone wishing to alter their home.

Article 4 Directions

This removes the normal rights for owners to undertake works to land and/or buildings. In these cases, a planning application must be made for any works specified in the direction. There are three sites in Sefton to which Article 4 direction applies, Larkhill Farm, Moor Park and and Sefton village. 


Article 3 Directions on Permitted Development Rights

In exceptional circumstances, most commonly on replacement rural dwellings, barn conversions or agricultural workers' dwellings, or in residential environments of higher density, the right to alter or extend properties may have been removed altogether as a result of any planning permission attached to the original building.

Directions can serve many purposes but are most commonly applied to maintain open plan residential environments or to prevent properties extending within their normal rights in a manner causing harm to neighbouring properties.

The overwhelming majority of dwellings in Sefton, including properties subdivided into flats, and residential property built prior to the 1960s will not be subject to such restriction. However, if in doubt, you are advised to check with us in advance.


Last Updated on 21 November 2017

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