Essex Tree Surveys for Planning Permission: FAST

Tree Surveys in Essex – Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow, Basildon, Epping, Braintree, Maldon, Southend, Brentwood, Epping Forest. Rapid & Reliable. Hundreds of 5 Star Reviews can’t be wrong!

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Why Choose Arbtech?

Arbtech are the best asset you can possibly have when you need ecology or tree surveys to help you obtain planning permission.

#1 Tree Surveyors across Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow and Southend

If you’re submitting a planning application in Essex and there are trees on or near your development; you may need a tree survey before your local authority grants you planning consent.

Trees are central to environmental initiatives across Essex. For instance, consider the Essex Forest Initiative, a scheme spearheaded by Essex County Council. This scheme was set up in 2019, to plant some 350,000 trees over the following five years covering land equivalent to five football pitches. This scheme was primarily designed to offset carbon emissions. However, tree planting brings a plethora of other benefits like improvements to biodiversity and lowering the flood risk that the council are keen to exploit.

Other local authorities are leading their own schemes. As of 2021, Colchester Council is in their second year of a tree-planting drive delivering thousands of trees across the region as part of their Woodland and Biodiversity Project. Local communities are getting involved too – a modest 18 Cherry trees are to be planted in Wick Country park as part of a joint scheme between Basildon Council and a local environmental group. 

Naturally, these tree schemes will have consequences for your planning application. Not only because a higher number of trees increases the likelihood of you encountering one on your site, but also because they indicate a shift in attitudes towards the environment. Local authorities, planners, and communities are far less tolerant of development schemes that reduce tree cover. Therefore, it’s in your interest to engage a suitably qualified tree surveyor early to get the tree report and advice you need to get planning permission – first time.

Going ahead without permission isn’t an option, either, as one homeowner in Chelmsford found out after he damaged a 90-year-old tree in his front garden. Despite being refused planning permission twice, he harmed the tree. The extensive injury led to its felling, and he was fined £60,000

Trees, planning permission, and development

There appears to be plenty of development opportunities in Essex. 

Schemes large and small are being considered and travelling through the planning system. For example, the second phase of a warehouse development in Harlow that has attracted the attention of multinational corporations recently received planning consent. Similarly, a wave of development and regeneration will likely transform Southend’s seafront after the local authority granted permission for a £100 million Marine Plaza development. As well as creating space for restaurants, bars, and shops along the seafront, this scheme will deliver 282 new homes. 

That said, some of these developments are being met with objections from local communities and local planning authorities; particularly when schemes harm trees and conservation areas.

Epping Forest District Council have mooted that they’re likely to reject a small scheme in Waltham Abbey, in part because the application may have a detrimental effect on the integrity of the conservation area. Similarly, an application for a large holiday park near Woodham Walter was rejected by Maldon District Council for a raft of reasons. One of which was the loss of valuable rural landscapes secondary to the urbanising effect of the park. Residents near one development have even gone so far as to potentially get the Secretary of State to intervene in one planning decision – this could result in Braintree District Council’s decision to grant planning for a 50-home development getting overturned.

That said, Central Government has taken note of the lack of development in some regions. Notably, the Housing Delivery Test has identified Basildon as an area that is delivering an insufficient number of new homes to meet demand. Consequently, the local authority has had its powers to refuse certain planning applications restricted. 

In summary, whilst there is a generally positive attitude towards development in Essex, local Planners won’t allow schemes that are detrimental to the landscape or environment. 

Trees are vital for both, but fortunately, Planning Officers don’t make arbitrary determinations. They use both policy and evidence to support their planning decisions. This is why, if there are any trees on or near your development, you will likely need a tree survey to get through planning.

Your BS5837 Tree Survey

If the local authority has asked you to get a tree survey or you decide that you need one, your first stop will be a BS5837 tree survey.

In short, this tree report is an exercise that involves inspecting any trees that are likely to be adversely affected by your plans, categorising them, and composing a report. This report will detail how your scheme will protect and preserve higher quality trees (mitigation) and justify the loss of lower quality trees. Thereby showing that your development is balanced against the needs of the local environment and the community’s interest in maintaining tree cover. 

When you submit your planning application, the local Tree Officer will consider your tree survey alongside the rest of your application. If they’re satisfied, they’ll make a favourable recommendation to your planning Case Officer who (if you choose Arbtech) will then grant planning consent. 

Whilst you may view a tree survey as a costly inconvenience, keep in mind that your tree survey doesn’t just help the local authority – it keeps you and your development safe too.

After all, the last thing you want is for your extension to fall over in a few years because roots grew through the foundations. Nor do you want a branch from a diseased tree to destroy the roof of your barn conversion after a stormy night.

Local tree surveyors – specialists in getting planning permission

Ultimately, you’re concerned with one thing. And that’s getting planning permission.

The good news is, if you choose us, we know you’ll get it.

Why are we so sure?

Because, as of 2021, we’ve been delivering tree surveys for planning for 16 years. 

In that time, we’ve helped tens of thousands of people solve their tree problems and get through planning. Hundreds of these planning consents have been granted in Essex alone.

How do we do it?

It comes down to one thing – our people.

Essex’s most trusted – 100 of 5* Reviews on and Trust Pilot

Our arboricultural surveyors (Jon, Debbie and Nicole all cover Essex) are the best in the business, and every single one of them is a planning specialist. 

They don’t do subsidence work, get involved in TPO appeals, or anything else to do with trees that doesn’t involve planning. 

They’re all employed by us (so your project will never get passed off to a subcontractor unless we clear it with you first), which means that they’ve got 24/7 access to the finest minds in tree surveying for planning. So, in the unlikely event that they’ve not come across your particular tree problem before, someone who has is just a phone call away.

Whether you’ve got a Birch in Brentwood that’s too close to your site for comfort or an Elm in Epping that’s brought your scheme to a standstill, they’ve got the solution for you.

But what if you don’t get planning?

The chances of your development not getting planning after receiving our advice are minuscule. 

But, on the off chance you are, we’ll give you 100% of your money back – no questions asked. 

Need a tree survey now?

If you’re worried that such a specialised service will take weeks (or months), rest assured that everything we do has speed in mind.

The last thing we want is you to experience a costly delay to your development because you can’t get the tree survey you need. This is why, in the overwhelming majority of cases, you’ll only be waiting two to three days for your completed survey and report. 

Not fast enough?

You can even invest in one of our upgrade services for a next working day report or weekend survey.

Fast Tree Surveys in Essex

So, if you need a tree survey that contains all the advice you need to get planning permission (or your money back) – choose Arbtech.


Berill, L. 2021. Plans to build homes in Waltham Abbey set to be rejected. [Online] Available from: (Accessed 15th February 2021)

Essex County Council. The Essex Forest Initiative. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 15th February 2021)

Ferris, M. 2021. Avenue of cherry trees to be planted in access road within Wick County Park. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 15th February 2021)

Geoghegan, J. 2020. The councils that are being sanctioned under the 2019 housing delivery test. [Online]. Available from (Accessed 15th February 2021)

Gray, B. 2020. How Southend’s new £100 million development could transform the ‘eyesore’ seafront. [Online]. Available from:

Gueye, P. 2021. Maldon District Council rejects Warren Estate expansion. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 15th February 2021)

Ingram, P. 2019. Chelmsford man fined £60,000 after damaging 90-year-old tree in his front garden. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 15th February 2021)

Jones, R. 2021. A greener future for Colchester thanks to tree planters. [Online]. Available from: 15th February 2021)

Maciuca, A. 2021. Secretary of state to consider overturning Finchingfield houses approval. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 15th February 2021)

Quested, T. Plans approved for second phase of Icon Harlow logistics development. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 15th February 2021)

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