Tree Surveys in Birmingham for Planning Permission
If your site has a tree on or near it; you’re probably going to need a tree survey before Birmingham City Council will grant you planning permission. This holds true whether you’re planning a simple extension to your home or a large mixed-use development.
Birmingham is one of a select few “Tree Cities of the World”. This international program, backed by the United Nations, measures cities against five core standards for the care and planning of urban trees and forests. Naturally, this status means that Birmingham’s 1 million-plus trees are serious considerations for Planning Officers when they make planning determinations.
Ultimately, your main concern is likely to be whether or not you need a BS5837 tree survey at all. There will be a firm “yes” or “no” answer, but the only body qualified to give it to you is your local authority. Every tree and every development are different, and something you may not see as a problem could well be! For example, a single tree about five or so metres from the edge of your development might seem inconspicuous. However, it could have roots that extend beneath your site that may be critically damaged by groundworks.
Therefore, it’s wise to be alert to any possibility that your development might have on trees. In fact, as time goes on the chances of you needing a tree survey to obtain planning permission are only going to increase. As of 2019, Birmingham was covered by 48.81 square kilometres of tree canopy; and the tree planting efforts of organisations like Birmingham Trees for Life will likely see that canopy cover grow.
So again, if you’re at all concerned about any trees on or near your site get in touch with Birmingham’s development control department to get the definitive answer as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delay to your development schedule.
Developing a greener Birmingham
Birmingham is open for business, and there are plenty of opportunities for developers, businesses, and homeowners alike. 2021 will see the Paradise project in Chamberlain Square move closer to completion with the construction of the 280,000 square foot, 13-storey office block “One Centenary Way”. Over the next few years, this £700 million regeneration project will deliver offices, a hotel, and, crucially, housing. Outside of the city centre, the Local Plan includes provisions for 15,000 new homes across more than a dozen sites. If adopted, it’s likely that this will be a boon for Birmingham’s suburban economy.
Corporations won’t be the only ones to benefit from this development drive. Whilst these gargantuan projects grab the headlines, they’re indicative of a rather reasonable attitude towards development in general that homeowners and small businesses can benefit from. However, no construction will be allowed at the expense of vital ecological features like trees. That said, planning Case Officers are not automatons. They’re professionals who make balanced decisions based on policy and evidence.
When Planning Officers grant planning consent, they need to be able to defend their decision. Without sufficient evidence, they can’t, and this is one of the (many) reasons why planning applications get refused.
So, if you have a tree problem and want to get planning permission, you’ll need a BS5837 tree survey and tree constraints plan drawing—as a minimum.
Tree reports and your development
If you need a tree report, your first port of call will be a BS5837 Tree Survey. But, before we set foot on your site, we’ll ask you key questions about what you’re planning to do, how, and where.
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The reason for this is simple; we want to get you through planning, first time – fast.
We’ve been helping people solve their tree problems for 16 years, so we know that without this information delays and disappointment are inevitable.
Once we understand your project, one of our arboricultural surveyors will visit your site for your BS5837 survey. They’ll assess the quality of any trees on your site, as well as those off-site that could reasonably be impacted by your development. Once they’ve done that, they’ll produce a tree constraints plan drawing that your design team can lay over their own plans and drawings. This AutoCAD and PDF document will be accompanied by a report that summarises the surveyed tree stock in general terms.
Birmingham’s #1 Arboricultural Consultants
Sometimes, especially for smaller developments like extensions, this survey is sufficient. However, Birmingham City Council may ask you for further surveys (or you may decide they’re necessary). There are two broad categories of additional survey, an Impact Assessment, Method Statement & Tree Protection Plan, and Arboricultural Supervision and Site Monitoring. These follow on in sequence, so if you need Arboricultural Supervision, you’ll need to have a Tree Protection Plan in place first.
Arbtech Tree Surveys in Birmingham – Hundreds of 5 Star Reviews
The need for a tree survey seldom comes as a shock, but it can feel like an unwanted expense. However, if you choose not to meet your legal obligations and damage trees without planning permission, the consequences can be severe. Birmingham City Council takes this activity seriously, even on private land. In 2020, the owner of a large property in the Four Oaks estate conservation area felled 20 mature trees attracting both the ire of neighbours and an investigation by the local Tree Officer. Currently, fines for illegal felling are high but capped. However, with the upcoming introduction of the new Environment Bill, these fines are set to become unlimited.
This risk really isn’t worth taking, either.
Because we undertake somewhere in the region of 3,000 tree reports and ecological surveys every year so have helped tens of thousands of people solve their tree problems and get planning permission.
We’ll do the same for you, too.
And in the (highly) unlikely event that we don’t, we’ll give you your money back.
No questions. No quibbles.
Our 30+ strong team of expert tree surveyors are all specialists in securing planning permission, and they don’t get involved in subsidence claim work and rarely in TPO appeals.
This means they’ve got 100% focus on getting you through the planning process, first time.
Your arboricultural surveyor will be a local expert too.
We’re a national operator, but the balance of our staff are home working. This allows us to employ people who have lived and work in the region they cover for years, if not decades. So, as well as having that niche local knowledge of how Birmingham City Council make planning determinations and the local interest groups the routinely object to planning applications, you’ll also benefit by not having to pay out for their travel or accommodation! In Birmingham, our tree consultancy staff that cover the area are Max Bell, Alan Thompson and Matt Edwards. You can read more about them here.
All this comes together to get you the robust report and expert tree advice you need to get planning permission, fast (usually within 1-3 days for your survey and report).
Plus, if you’re really against the clock, you can invest in a next working day report or even a weekend survey.
Get a tree survey in Birmingham with comprehensive advice you can trust
If you want your tree survey to be managed by a local specialist and contain all the advice you need to get planning permission (or your money back) – choose Arbtech.
Birmingham City Council. 2019. Birmingham bids to become a Tree City of the World. [Online]. Available from: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/(Accessed 9th February 2021)
Birmingham City Council. 2020. Birmingham earns prestigious Tree Cities of the World status. [Online]. Available from: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/ (Accessed 9th February 2021)
Birmingham Trees for Life. N.D. How BTFL Works. [Online]. Available from: https://btfl.org.uk/how-btfl-works/(Accessed 9th February 2021)
Cardwell, M. 2021. From Paradise to HS2: The five biggest construction projects in Birmingham in 2021. [Online]. Available from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/ (Accessed 9th February 2021)
Gambles, I. 2019. Cracking down on illegal felling. [Online]. Available from: https://forestrycommission.blog.gov.uk/ (Accessed 9th February 2021)
Irwin, D. 2021. 15,000-home plan for sites across Solihull set for final hurdle. [Online]. Available from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/ (Accessed 9th February 2021)
Tyler, J. 2020. Fury as 20 trees ‘chopped down by new owner of £3m house on Four Oaks Estate’. [Online]. Available from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/ (Accessed 9th February 2021)