Key Facts

Arboricultural Planning Support

Thank you for the opportunity to support your development ambitions.

Arbtech is widely acknowledged to be the leading ecological consultancy in the UK, specialising exclusively in arboriculture and ecology for planning and development sector clients.

Blowing our trumpet; we have been established since 2005 and since then we have been there, done that and got the t-shirts for just about any tree or protected species issue you could possibly face on a site of proposed development.

To give you confidence in that statement, here’s some metrics (as at Q3, 2021):

We now have almost 60 team members, and all are directly employed consultants. Known internally as ‘Arbtechers’, they have done literally thousands of surveys over careers spanning in some cases decades, in both the public and private practice sectors. All are well versed in planning  policy and wildlife law, as well as having developed good working relationships with the local authorities in their regions.

How do we leverage local relationships and yet offer fixed fees throughout the UK, Crown Dependencies and Ireland? We do this by having approximate half of our staff based at home in strategic locations. So, whether you’re in Sunderland or Southampton, we can cut costs and delays for you at a fixed, all-inclusive price.

If you would like to talk to someone about your development ambitions for your site, please do ask – it’s what we’re here for.

Why do I need an arboriculturist?

You have been asked to provide a report to your local authority to compliment your planning application because:

  • The NPPF states that when determining your planning application your local authority should aim to conserve and enhance biodiversity by applying the following principle; if significant harm resulting from your development cannot be avoided, adequately mitigated or compensated for then planning permission should be refused. (National Planning Policy Framework: p.118).
  • BS5837:2012 is the British Standard for arboriculture in relation to planning and development. It describes in detail the hierarchy of survey, retention and protection of good quality trees (if any), mitigation for tree loss and enhancement articulated in the NPPF (above). (British Standard BS5837 Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction (2012): p.4.4 detailing the adequacy of information to be submitted as part of a tree survey and p.5.4, 6.1 and 7.3 on the need for and submission format of an arboricultural implications assessment, method statement and tree protection plan drawing). (National Planning Policy
    Framework: p.118).

Therefore, we provide a quotation for arboricultural planning support work stages 1 and 2, compliant to British Standard BS5837:2012 (Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction –Recommendations). We have reviewed the available information and are confident that this can address your immediate needs.

What is a BS5837 tree survey?

This stage of work is required to validate your planning application.

Therefore, we provide below a quotation for one of our Arboricultural Association technicians or professional members to visit you and undertake a BS5837 tree survey (“Survey”), Arboricultural Impact Assessment, Method Statement and Tree Protection Plan compliant to the British Standard 5837 (2012) Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations. We have reviewed the available information and are confident that this addresses your immediate needs.

Your survey is intended to inform both your design team and local planning authority of the realistic constraints to your development presented by trees on and adjacent to your site, above and below ground (there may be none). Your Survey is undertaken using a Trimble Juno handheld GPS location device, which enables trees to be snapped on to the OS Tile or topographical survey and is accompanied by a tree constraints plan. This will be produced using our PT Mapper Pro software and issued to you in AutoCAD DXF format.

You will also receive an interpretive report that identifies your consultant, defines much of the methodology of BS5837 and summarizes the general nature and condition of the tree stock surveyed.

There are then 2 possible outcomes, as follows:

What we found at your siteWhat this means for you
There are no development constraints posed by
trees on or adjacent to your site.
Your planning permission can be progressed without delay
There are high quality trees on or adjacent to your site that will constrain the gross developable area.Your local authority will expect to see an
Arboricultural Impact Assessment, Method Statement and Tree Protection Plan (see below).

What are arboricultural impact assessments, method statements, and tree protection plans?

This stage of work is normally required to determine your planning application or release you from conditions of consent.

Your impact assessment is a document that supports your planning application by balancing the development layout with a sensible approach to retaining and protecting good quality trees at your site. This shows the local planning authority that trees have been considered in your proposals and their amenity contribution will not be lost (or better; will be enhanced.)

The method statement and tree protection plan drawing detail the measures taken to protect trees e.g. guidance for engineering solutions (there may be none). It also includes a specification for protective measures and any tree works, along with other recommendations appropriate to the scale and intensity of your development.

Problematic Species

In addition, one of Arbtech’s unique strengths is that all of our ecological consultants are trained to identify obvious signs of invasive and problematic species. We can therefore leverage this expertise to save you cost and delay, by combining this with your PEA, free of charge. We will undertake an initial survey for problematic species (such as Japanese knotweed Fallopia japonica) at your site to alert you to any non-native, invasive or other problematic species that might be relevant to your development ambitions.

Please note that the normal survey window for undertaking this type of evaluation is between mid-March and mid-October (south)/1st April and 30th September (north). We can carry out the survey at any time, but outside that window it is considered as sub-optimal and species are more difficult to locate and identify.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve only been asked for a “tree survey” – do I really need an impact assessment, etc. as well?

Not always. But most of the time, your LPA will expect to this.

The various arboricultural inputs to your planning application are modular. There is no duplication of effort (and therefore no price difference) by instructing them separately or all at once.

We simply like to keep you informed (knowledge is power!) well in advance of any probable downstream costs and or delays to your application.

When can you do my survey?

Our available timescales are set out in the “Fees ARB 2019” document. Once your survey has concluded, and unless agreed otherwise, your report will normally follow in the next couple of days to a week. Timescales for delivery of third party data or services may vary.

What site access do we need?

We need to access all the external areas of your site and physical access to any trees to be included in the survey; this may include off-site trees. Trees that cannot be accessed for reasons of legality or expediency (e.g. those in an adjoining private garden) will be surveyed visually as best as is practicable.

How do I book?

Simply complete and return the attached Survey Booking Form with your payment.

To make your booking as simple as possible, we accept most forms of debit and credit card, including American Express. You can pay directly over the phone by calling one of our friendly administrative team on 01244 661170.

Do you charge mileage or other fees?

All our costs are inclusive of our time, traveling expenses and your report.

What happens next?

As soon as we have your booking information, you will receive an automated booking confirmation email, followed by direct contact from one of our friendly ‘Arbtechers’, same or next working day, to
arrange a mutually agreeable site appointment.

This person will be your Project Manager and will be your primary point of contact for the duration
of our engagement.

We hope that our fixed fee quotation is met with your approval and look forward to working with you
very soon.

Inevitably… the (not so) small print

This letter and any e-mail, attachment, estimate or quotation is pursuant to our General Terms and Conditions (“Terms”): https://arbtech.co.uk/terms-conditions. The Terms give details of the basis upon which we will provide our consultancy services and should be read in conjunction with any accompanying correspondence.

Your ARB fixed fee is based upon producing of your report to version 1.1. This is a finalised report based upon a draft copy presented to you for your comments and approval. Any further iteration as a result of consultation with you or third parties may be chargeable.

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