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How Kent’s LPA tree strategies could affect your development

Kent Tree Survey: The 12 local authorities in Kent take their tree strategies seriously, therefore a BS5837 tree survey, supported by robust advice, will enable you to provide the local authority with the information they need to grant you a planning consent. 

Kent County Council made the bold commitment to planting a tree for every person in Kent (totalling some 1.5 million) in 2019. This reasons for this initiative are two-fold. Firstly, it’s a key component of their wider environmental strategy that aims to see net-zero carbon emissions achieved by 2050.  Secondly, Central Government set a target of 19% woodland cover by 2050, and the hope is that this initiative will form a large part of Kent’s contribution to achieving this. 

Tree Survey in Kent

This tree planting drive will have a particularly profound effect on areas with low tree cover like Thanet. In fact, Thanet District Council has included policies in the new Local Plan that give extra protections to trees on development sites and mandate new planting as part of development. Naturally, this will have consequences for developers and homeowners with trees on or near their sites, who are seeking to fully leverage their development opportunities.

However, the ever-increasing focus on trees and the environment isn’t an insurmountable obstacle to the success of your planning application. In fact, enterprise, investment, and development feature heavily in the 2020-2023 Strategic Delivery Plan, alongside plans for a greener, cleaner Kent. 

BS5837 tree inspections and reports in Kent

It’s clear that tree protection, preservation, and planting will factor heavily into a planning Case Officer’s decision making in 2021 and beyond. Ultimately, they have to be confident that they can defend their decision to grant your development planning permission (should someone appeal), and if they can’t do that, they’ll refuse your application. 

So whilst a BS5837 tree survey is mandatory if there are any trees on or close enough to your site to be affected by your development, the usefulness of the information contained within the report can vary widely. Simply put, if you can’t demonstrate a sensible retention/removal balance, the chances of you being granted planning permission are slim. 

Things get even more complicated if your proposed development is in a conservation area, or affects any trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). For context, the region covered by Maidstone Borough Council alone has over 1,000 TPOs in force and 41 conservation areas. In these cases, getting planning permission if you intend to impact significantly on high quality or highly visible trees can be very difficult indeed. 

Regardless of whether your development is in a conservation area and/or contains one or more trees under a TPO or not, any tree has the potential to cause significant disruption to your development schedule. Even a simple street tree could be a habitat for rare birds, reduce the flood risk, or be considered a critical road safety feature that lowers the average driving speed.

The challenge is finding the right solution for your tree problem and, for that, you’ll need a tree survey undertaken by a specialist arboricultural surveyor.

Arboriculturists with 16 years of 100% success at planning

You want planning consent, and if you choose Arbtech your Kent tree survey and report will contain everything you need to achieve it. 

The advice that we give to you and your design team will specifically show how your scheme will protect and retain higher quality trees whilst justifying the loss of lower quality trees. 

It’ll include an arboricultural impact assessment that looks at the canopy (above ground) and root protection area (below ground). This will show the Tree Officer, in detail, how you’re going to meet your obligations. They’ll then give a favourable recommendation to the planning Case Officer who will grant planning permission for your development. 

We know that this will be the case because we’ve been helping people solve their tree problems for 16 years with 100% success at planning.

We’ve secured planning consents for hundreds of clients in Kent alone.

Here’s how we helped…

Kent’s most trusted Arboricltural Consultants – Read our Reviews

We operate nationally, but that doesn’t mean your survey will be managed by someone who’s been sent to your site from 400 miles away. Nor will it be handed off to a subcontractor. Instead, it’ll be carried out by a tree surveyor who has worked in and around Kent for years and specialises in getting clients through planning. This will be Jon Hartley, senior consultant, or one of his team with boots on the ground in Kent.

They’ll have comprehensive arboricultural knowledge specific to the local area, and they’ll be well-versed in the policies and procedures the local authorities in Kent base planning determinations on. Your surveyor will also be able to draw upon our network of over 30 staff and decades of experience in overcoming novel, sensitive, and exceptionally complicated tree-related planning issues. 

Combined, this means you’ll get the survey and report you need, fast. Usually, within two to three days (for the survey and report). Or, if you’re really up against the clock, you can invest in a paid upgrade service for a rapid next working day report.

Need a tree surveyor in Kent? Trust Arbtech

Arbtech provide tree surveys in Ashford and Cantubury; tree reports in Dartford and Dover; BS5837 assessements in Gravesham and Sevenoaks; and arboricultural reports in Tonbridge and Tunbridge. So, if you need a tree survey that contains all the advice you need to get planning permission (or your money back) and want it done by a local expert—choose Arbtech.


Kent County Council. N.D. Tree planting statement. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 25 January 2021]

Kent County Council. Strategic Delivery Plan (2020-2023). N.D. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 25 January 2021]

Maidstone Borough Council. N.D. Trees. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 25 January 2021]

Thanet District Council. N.D. Tree Strategy. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 25 January 2021]

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