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Development and Planning Advice

Development and Planning Advice

Development and planning advice
Hazard suverys and inspections
Planting schemes
Woodland management


Trees are a material consideration wherever they are present on sites with development potential. Quality trees, particularly established trees will enhance any development; however, expert advice is required to ensure that present benefits are retained and that future conflicts are avoided.

The content of our report will inform the planning process and provide robust information for all arboricultural aspects of the development; this is frequently a planning condition.

We can assist our clients by providing the following:


Arboricultural surveys


Upon receipt of a topographical survey showing the positions of trees we will make an objective assessment of tree dimensions, age class, condition and category grading, in accordance with British Standard 5837:2005 Trees in relation to construction. Tree surveys of this nature are essential when making an application to the Local Planning Authority for any development where trees are present either on or adjacent to the site.


Tree constraints plans


Using the information recorded during the tree survey we can provide a tree constraints plan (TCP). This is carried out by amending the topographical survey using CAD software. The TCP will show both the above and below ground constraints imposed by the size and position of the trees on the site. By plotting these constraints, such as the root protection area (RPA) or potential canopy spread and shadow forecast we can reveal the developable area available on the site. The tree survey data, in conjunction with the TCP provides the basis for the negotiation of trees to be retained in the initial layout design.


Arboricultural implications assessment


Local Planning Authorities frequently ask for a statement regarding the predicted effects that the trees and proposed development with have upon each other in light of the design layout. The arboricultural implications assessment (AIA) will discuss issues such as tree losses and their impact upon the wider amenity, justifications for both removing and retaining trees, appropriate tree surgery works and means to mitigate tree loss such as new tree planting and/or engineering solutions permitting retention of trees otherwise likely to be lost.


Tree Protection Plans


To ensure the successful retention of trees we will provide a tree protection plan (TPP), once again amending the topographical survey and prepared using CAD software. The TPP is used to show precise barrier positions to protect the construction exclusion zone (CEZ), where incursion is prevented. Furthermore we will show areas necessitating appropriate ground protection thereby facilitating vehicular or pedestrian access within the RPA of trees.


Arboricultural method statements


A prerequisite for any aspect of the development or construction activity that has the potential to adversely affect the retained trees will be the provision of an arboricultural method statement (AMS) for approval by the Local Planning Authority.

The AMS may cover a broad range of issues such as barriers and ground protection, demolition techniques, special engineering solutions for foundation design or access roads, access facilitation pruning, storage of materials, contractor parking and provision of services to name but a few.

We will prepare a detailed, site and task specific AMS for submission to the Local Planning Authority that will inform the planning officers how works may be carried out to minimise any damage to trees that are to be retained on the site.


Arboricultural site supervision


Increasingly the supervision of activities on site is stipulated as a planning condition. We will provide a schedule for monitoring throughout the development process; this will assist with any works in proximity to trees where adherence to the AMS is critical. Site supervision is documented and a record of supervision is available for inspection by the Local Planning Authority, thus dispensing with the planning condition.

The purpose of the supervision is to ensure no damage occurs to the subject trees whilst operations are carried out in proximity to trees. Proper supervision results in a smooth running site where no time is lost to delays through tree related issues; other benefits include a development that is enhanced by healthy trees that aid integration into the landscape and not an inconsiderable amount of good PR for the developers with the new residents, local residents and the planning department of the LPA.


Planting schemes and planning conditions


Local Planning Authorities frequently require the submission of a report as a standard planning condition. We will prepare a report for our clients, which provides details of species, stock size, planting positions, numbers, the time of planting and programme of aftercare.

In addition we provide a statement of how the planting scheme will integrate with the development over time with regard to eventual sizes and anticipated maintenance requirements.


Benefits to layout design


We will provide our clients with up to date arboricultural advice to assist with site layout design. Our recommendations will always be within current best practice. Our solutions will seek to enable development wherever reasonably practicable. It is of equal importance to recognise situations where tree constraints are insurmountable. This will minimise expenditure of unnecessary time and resources on tree related issues and avoid conflict with the LPA.

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