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Case Study

Tree Survey in Newport

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The client contacted us as they needed a tree survey to BS5837:2012 for their planning application. BS5837:2012 is the British Standard for trees in relation to design, demolition and construction.The client’s site was is in the centre of Newport and the project was for the demolition of the existing works depot and the construction of a new two storey energy centre upon the site.

Newport is a city in south east Wales. Arbtech provides many surveys in and around Newport every year. Most of these surveys are carried out by one of our experienced consultants based in Wales – David Garrick.

Contacting the Client

We contacted the client to discuss their project, so we can understand precisely what they are planning with their proposed project. We see what plans they have for the existing site, in this case it was a topographical survey, we ask for this in. DWG format so we can download it to our handheld device to use in the field. We also ask for their finalised proposals in .DWG format. At this stage we then agree a suitable time and date for the survey.

Work Stage 1

As agreed, we attended the site to undertake the survey of all trees or groups of trees within the boundary and within influencing distance of the site. There were no trees within the boundary of the depot itself, but the site had several trees that were situated within the adjacent car park, against the fence line or nearby.

We used the handheld device to plot the locations of the trees onto the topographical survey. We recorded the height of the trees, their stem diameter and their crown spread at each cardinal point. We classified each of the trees into one of four retention categories as per BS5837:2012. The retention category is based upon the quality of the tree and its remaining useful contribution in years.

From this data we then produced a schedule of trees and a tree constraints plan, which showed the extent of each tree’s root protection areas (RPAs) plotted onto the client’s topographical survey.

Work stage 2

We overlaid the constraints plan onto the clients plans to identify if any of the proposals have incursions into the RPAs of the trees. At this point, we identified the trees that require retention and those that can be removed while still satisfying the local planning authority. We discussed the overlay with our client to make sure we are in agreement with how to proceed. Once we have this agreement the overlay is turned into a plan based arboricultural impact assessment (AIA).

Upon completion of the AIA we then look to see how we can best protect those trees that are to be retained. We did this through the production of a tree protection plan (TPP). For this site, the tree protection was achieved through protective fencing and the use of a construction exclusion zone. There are many forms that this tree protection can take, and they are recommended depending upon the needs of the site.

The final piece of the report is the arboricultural method statement (AMS). The AMS detailed how construction can be carried close to the retained trees without causing any damage to either the roots or the crown.

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