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Tree protection process out to consultation

13 March 2023

Ahead of the introduction of legislation setting out which works to trees will require permission in Jersey, the Minister for the Environment is consulting with Islanders about the details of the proposals.

In 2022, the States Assembly approved plans to better protect trees by bringing works to them under the definition of “development” within Jersey’s Planning and Building Law.

When the revised law comes into effect, operations to or on trees will require permission before they can proceed. However, it is proposed that there will be a list of exceptions that will specify those operations that can go ahead without permission.

Proposed exceptions include, among others, work to remove dead branches, operations to trees posing a danger to the public, and work to trees with a diameter no bigger than 8cm at a point 1.5m above the ground. 

If permission is required, then applications will be considered through a simple “prior notification” procedure. This will determine whether a full application for planning permission is needed or whether the works can go ahead as “permitted development”.

The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, said: “It is clear from speaking to Islanders that tree protection is an issue they hold very close to their hearts, so I am very pleased to be bringing forward these proposals.

“It is not our intention to create unnecessary red tape, and so this draft Order includes a list of permitted operations, and categories of trees for which no planning application will be necessary. We need to ensure we get the balance right, so that Islanders can still proceed with their gardening and tree maintenance tasks, but at the other end of the spectrum trees that have landscape or other value to the community aren’t being chopped down without proper consideration. 

“I’m keen for Islanders to give feedback via the public consultation to let us know whether the list of exceptions is, in their view, appropriate.”

Islanders can have their say on the proposed tree protection process and exceptions on the consultation webpage. The consultation closes on 23 April 2023

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