East Sussex Development, Planning and Trees
The number of trees across the county of East Sussex is likely to rise in the coming years, and due to the significant impact they have on reducing carbon and increasing oxygen, it is no wonder that they feature in the majority of local plans and strategies. In an ideal world, your development will not only protect and preserve existing trees but also contribute towards creating attractive and ecologically beneficial green spaces. That said, if you want to renovate a property, construct a building or undertake demolition work in the East Sussex area and trees are present on or near the site, a tree survey may be needed.
It is massively unlikely that any of the local authorities in East Sussex will permit any construction, development or demolition work that actively harms trees without a comprehensive tree report from a professional arboriculturist. Fortunately, the local council has a progressive attitude towards applications for planning permission, particularly in the case of homeowners putting forward a submission for a simple property extension. A local tree officer and planning case officer will use a combination of policy and evidence as the basis for planning decisions, meaning that a tree survey report detailing the nature of trees on the site and appropriate mitigation will work hand in hand with planning applications.
Restrictions around development as a precautionary measure to protect the environment are visible in recent East Sussex planning projects. For example, part of the reason that a planning application involved the demolition of a garden centre to make way for 33 new homes in Crowborough was because of the plans championing green space and including a proposal to plant an oak tree. Likewise, a commitment from Lewes District Council was to become zero-carbon by 2030, with initiatives in place to support the pledge, such as discounted tree-planting drives, echoed in East Sussex County Council’s local plan that contains a carbon-neutral strategy.
Moves to Protect and Retain Trees of Value
Countless tree strategies and environmental initiatives will have an effect on how planning applications for sites where trees are present or nearby are viewed by the local authority. The most common parameters surrounding the protection of trees are through the use of conservation areas and tree preservation orders (TPOs). Each option is regulated by the local councils, and for a developer to carry out works that could harm applicable trees, they will first need to seek consent.
Any trees in a conservation area or under a tree preservation order are restricted from any form of intervention. Even if one of these trees is on a development site, prior consent will be mandatory before the developer can opt to disrupt the tree. The level of tree care is applicable to various parts of East Sussex, West Sussex and broader South East England, leaving developers with the responsibility and task of determining who holds jurisdiction before notifying them accordingly.
Inspections on Potential Risks to Trees
More often than not, tree inspections designed to support development will surface on what is known as a BS5837 tree survey. In a visit to the development site, an arboriculturist will address health concerns, potential issues and conflicts caused by the development in relation to the trees on your site as well as any in the local vicinity that could reasonably be affected by your planning project. The qualified tree surveyor leading the assessment will then grade each tree based on the evaluation.
All the trees will be judged based on quality and value, and the eventual decisions will prompt how they are dealt with afterwards. For instance, it will be the intention of the arboricultural surveyors to retain as many trees as possible, but if the development simply does not facilitate a tree, or if a tree is in poor quality, isn’t worth saving or could raise potential issues in conjunction with health and safety, it will be relocated or destroyed and compensated for with the planting of a new tree.
After the necessary tree surveys have been undertaken, tree reports will be created to detail the tree survey process and highlight adequate mitigation measures, along with an AutoCAD map for laying over the design and indicating the positioning of trees on the site. The combined information should be sufficient to support applications of planning consent, the tree report created with the intention of it being submitted to the local planning authority to advance the planning application.
Obtain Your Arboricultural Report Now
A benefit to Arbtech being disciplined in numerous areas is that we can pass you on to someone else in our team if you need the insight and expertise of another professional in arboriculture or ecology. Such an approach means that if a need for further surveys is flagged during a tree survey, such as an arboricultural impact assessment (AIA), an arboricultural method statement (AMS) or an inspection on wildlife habitats, the tree surveyor can advise on the importance of seeing these inspections completed.
Whenever a client reaches out to us for help via a tree survey, one of our tree consultants will work with their design team to ensure that any conflict between the proposed works and existing trees is addressed. Coverage all over East Sussex and other parts of South East England including neighbouring West Sussex enables us to stage BS5837 tree surveys, produce a tree report and assist in applications for planning consent on the planning projects of clients in practically any location.
Rather than having a universal tree survey cost that leads to developers working on small projects paying the same as developers working on large projects, we tailor the cost to match the specifications of our clients. For your own free quote, you can email us, call us, fill out a quote form, or visit our contact page. Our team can then help you to choose a suitable date to book a tree survey and intervene with your planning application, giving you the data and next steps you need to successfully result with planning permission.