Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003

  • Regulations 15(7) and 19(4) corrected on 6 August 2021 under section 25(1)(j)(iii) of the Legislation Act 2012.
14 Obligation to remove danger to persons or property from trees damaging conductors


A works owner must, without delay, undertake any work in relation to a tree (including the roots of that tree) if the works owner becomes aware that there is immediate danger to persons or property from a conductor because—


the tree has come into contact with, or constitutes a serious hazard to, that conductor; or


the tree has caused damage to that conductor and is likely to cause further damage to that conductor.


Subclause (1)—


has effect despite—


any application for a dispensation that is pending; or


any arbitration that is not determined; or


the giving of a notice under regulation 9 specifying a time for cutting or trimming a tree that has not expired; but


does not override any Act.


For the purposes of subclause (1), a works owner may cut or trim the tree to the extent necessary to remove the danger but, if the works owner wishes to cut or trim the tree so that it no longer encroaches the notice zone, the works owner must obtain the consent of the tree owner.


The works owner is responsible for the removal of debris produced as a result of the cutting or trimming of the tree.


When a works owner undertakes any work in accordance with subclause (1), the tree owner is liable for the direct costs of that work if—


the tree owner was warned by the works owner of the potential danger created by the tree, before the commencement of these regulations, and has failed to remedy the potential danger; or


the tree owner was requested by the works owner to undertake work in relation to the tree, before the commencement of these regulations, and has failed to undertake the work requested; or


the tree owner has failed to comply with a cut or trim notice.


The direct costs must be reasonable and may include—


the costs of ensuring that any cutting or trimming work is carried out safely; and


the costs of any isolation or earthing operation that is necessary; and


the costs of the removal of any debris; and


the costs of remedying any damage to works, where that damage arises (whether directly or indirectly) out of a tree owner’s failure to comply with the requirements of these regulations.


A works owner may recover any amount payable under subclause (5) as a debt due to the works owner.


Subclauses (5) to (7) do not apply to a tree owner if the tree is on land administered by any person under the Conservation Act 1987, or any of the Acts set out in Schedule 1 of that Act that regulate the use of land.