Tree Surveys for planning in Swindon – get planning consent, or your money back
If you’re submitting a planning application in Swindon, you may need a tree survey before the local authority gives you planning permission.
This will be the case if one or more of Swindon’s 40,000 trees are on or near your site. In these circumstances, a tree survey isn’t optional because the local authority needs this information to ensure your development doesn’t cause harm to Swindon’s tree stock.
The local planning authority takes its duty to protect and enhance the natural environment seriously. In fact, Swindon is home to one of England’s 10 new “community forests”. This five-year program will see around 500,000 trees planted to create 350 hectares of new woodland. Naturally, this tree planting drive (and others) will increase the likelihood of you encountering trees in the course of your development, simply by the weight of numbers. However, the effect this will have on the way local Planners view planning applications that have a material impact on trees is arguably more important.
The local authority isn’t the only body that will take a keen interest in your planning application if it involves disruption to Swindon’s arboricultural features. Various special interest groups are active in and around the town, and local residents don’t always take kindly to the loss of tree cover. A coalition of groups lead the “Save Redlands Copse” campaign and opposed plans by a developer to cut down protected trees. Consequently, the proposal was altered, and the number of trunks felled was reduced from 92 to 53.
Creating a green future for Swindon
Whilst you may see the changing attitude towards green spaces and the environment as an insurmountable obstacle to achieving your development aspirations, the reality is quite different.
Large schemes are underway throughout Swindon and the surrounding areas, with more planned for the future. For instance, the first homes are now occupied on the Canalside development. And plans for another 476 new properties adjacent and to the north have been submitted to the local authority (2021). Smaller applications are in play too. An application was submitted for 45 new houses in a field between two developments, potentially creating a new suburb in Highworth.
This is good news for homeowners, as if the local authority treats development companies favourably, they tend to view domestic applications positively, too.
How a tree survey helps you get planning
Ultimately, you’re concerned with one thing, and that’s getting planning permission.
Fortunately, a tree survey will help you do exactly that. But before we delve into what a tree survey is, it’s vital to understand why you need one in the first place.
Planning Case Officers make decisions based on policy and evidence. They’re not robots, but neither are they free to grant or refuse planning permission on a whim. At the end of the day, they have to defend their decision to grant planning; if they don’t have sufficient evidence to do this – particularly when there are environmental concerns – their only option is to refuse planning consent.
The good news is, a robust tree survey and report can have a profound influence on the way your planning Case Officer views your application. Indeed, it can be the deciding factor that determines whether your development goes ahead on schedule, gets stuck in the mire of appeal after appeal, or is refused outright.
Arboricultural consultancy in Swindon
If you do need a tree survey, you’ll be pleased to hear that the process is quite straightforward.
A tree surveyor will come to your site to inspect the trees and assign them a category. This category tells the local Tree Officer and your planning Case Officer how ecologically and environmentally significant each tree is. Once they’ve done this, they’ll produce an AutoCAD map that you and your design team can lay over your existing plans(this will also be sent to you as a PDF).
Finally, they’ll compose a report that will tell the local planning authority how your scheme will protect higher quality trees while justifying the loss of lower quality trees (this is called an arboricultural impact assessment). As a consequence of this assessment, you may need to compensate for any felled trees. The extent of any compensatory or mitigating measures will be determined by the number and quality of any trees are lost as a result of your scheme.
Then, all you need to do is submit your survey along with your application and wait for your Planning Case Officer to give you planning permission…
…and if you choose Arbtech, you will get planning permission.
That’s quite a bold statement to make, but we’ve got the stats to back it up.
As of 2021, we’re successfully completing up to 3000 projects per year every year. Our arboricultural surveys have been instrumental in securing planning permission for 15,000 people.
Hundreds of them in Swindon alone.
“But what if I don’t get planning permission?”
On the off chance this happens (it won’t), we’ll give you your money back – no questions asked.
We’re able to guarantee that you’ll get planning consent because of two key factors:
First, we’re specialists.
We only get involved with tree-related planning problems. We don’t do subsidence claims, TPO appeals, or anything else to do with trees that isn’t to do with getting planning permission.
Second, our people are local experts.
We operate nationally, but our 30+ strong team of tree surveyors are all set up to work from home. Therefore, the tree surveyor who comes to your site will have lived and worked in the area for years.
They’ll hit the ground running with knowledge of the intricacies of Swindon Borough Council’s planning policies and the towns unique landscape features that will make all the difference to the quality of your report.
But that’s not all.
These two factors come together to bring one more benefit – speed.
The last thing we want is for your development schedule to be held up because you can’t get a tree report.
Because we only provide tree surveys for planning permission, and we only use local tree surveyors to do it, we’re able to complete your tree survey within three to four days at most.
Three to four days for your tree survey and report not fast enough?
Talk to us about investing in a next working day report or weekend survey.
Swindon Tree Surveyors you can trust
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.
Angelini, D. 2020. People power saves protected trees from Highworth housing developer. [Online]. Available from: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/18288793.people-power-saves-protected-trees-highworth-housing-developer/ (Accessed 19th February 2021)
Swindon Borough Council. 2020. Swindon’s community forest has target of planting half a million trees. [Online]. Available from: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/news/article/579/swindon_s_community_forest_has_target_of_planting_half_a_million_trees(Accessed 19th February 2021)
Swindon Borough Council. N.D. Tree Maintenance. [Online]. Available from: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20077/parks_and_open_spaces/480/tree_maintenance (Accessed 19th February 2021)
Thomas, A. 2020. Another 45 homes planned for field south of Highworth. [Online]. Available from: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/18595673.another-45-homes-planned-field-south-highworth/ (Accessed 19th February 2021)
Wright, E. 2021. Planning sought for next phase of landmark Swindon development. [Online]. Available from: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/18993837.planning-sought-next-phase-landmark-swindon-development/(Accessed 19th February 2021)