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Tree Surveys in Essex: Planning Permission Guarantee

Your development site may be home to any number of Essex tree populations, and if it is, you will need the necessary tree surveys and a corresponding tree report to secure planning consent.

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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.

Different Species of Trees All Over Essex

Commonly appearing at the centre of environmental initiatives, trees are valuable for a number of reasons, including enhancing the ecological standard of an area, lowering flood risk, producing delicious fruit, emitting oxygen and soaking up carbon dioxide. The perception of trees is no different from the local authorities in Essex, with the Essex Forest Initiative from Essex County Council aiming to plant around 350,000 trees over the space of five years, covering land equivalent to five football pitches.

Other local councils throughout Essex lead their own schemes, such as a part of Colchester Council’s Woodland and Biodiversity Project that encouraged a tree-planting drive involving thousands of trees and a joint scheme between Basildon Council and an environmental group to plant 18 cherry trees in Wick Country Park. Essex is home to various types of small and large trees, including ash trees, cedar trees, conifer trees, Douglas fir trees, English oak trees, eucalyptus trees, plum trees, scots pine trees, silver birch trees and willow trees. With local planning officers making an informed decision based on the potential impact on trees and other valuable natural elements, developers would be inclined to ensure that no unnecessary harm is coming to any local trees by arranging a tree survey.

Not only will a tree survey on your development site facilitate the creation of tree reports that will give your local planning authority everything they need to accept your planning application, but it will also guarantee that you aren’t contradicting policies and laws. For instance, a homeowner in Chelmsford opted to move forward without consideration to trees or organising the necessary tree surveys, inadvertently damaged a 90-year-old tree in his front garden to such an extent that it required felling, and was fined £60,000 for something that was entirely avoidable. Even the best-case scenario would see planning rejected, just as it was for a large holiday park near Woodham Walter that was found to urbanise the area without compensating for the loss of valuable rural landscapes.

Boundaries surrounding planning projects that are undertaken with disregard to the environment shouldn’t, however, concern developers that planning consent will be denied regardless of circumstance. A wide range of schemes are being considered and travelling through the planning system in Essex, including the second phase of a warehouse development in Harlow that has attracted the attention of multinational corporations and has now achieved planning. Similarly, the local authority granted planning on a £100 million Marine Plaza Development designed to transform Southend’s seafront and create space for bars, restaurants, shops and 282 new homes.

Development in Essex has also been permitted out of a need for homes after the Housing Delivery Test identified Basildon as an area delivering insufficient numbers of new homes to meet demand. It led to intervention from authorities above the local council, weakening restrictions around planning applications that would see new homes in the area. To summarise, planning permission will be granted on projects in Essex as long as the potential concerns that involve degradation of the natural environment are addressed correctly through prior assessments and the insights that come from them.

Tree Protection Guidelines

Any developments that harm trees and conservation areas without evidence to suggest that the potential impacts have been identified and dealt with accordingly will be met with objections from the local planning authorities. Even small schemes could suffer from this, such as one in Waltham Abbey that was rejected in part due to the detrimental effect it was having on the integrity of a conservation area located within the boundary of the development site.

Local authorities commonly protect individual trees by placing them under a tree preservation order (TPO) and groups of trees by surrounding them within conservation areas. The restrictions require consent from the local council before any trees are subjected to any potentially harmful actions, and if the developer fails to do this, the penalties for harming defended trees could involve anything from unlimited fines to periods of imprisonment.

Evaluating Development Site Trees

Whenever trees are expected to be adversely affected by development plans, it is fairly common for BS5837 tree surveys to be the first step. Following a full analysis of all trees on the development site at ground level, an arboricultural surveyor would categorise every tree into grades between A and U. As an example of how the grading system works, category A trees would probably be in good condition, offer value to local biodiversity, and possess long lifespans and the ability to sustain life for the coming years.

On the other end of the scale, category U trees would probably be in poor condition, offer little to local biodiversity, and either be dead, dying or dangerous. Trees closer to category A will be retained while trees closer to category U will be destroyed and compensated for with the planting of new trees. Anything in between will be up for debate, but it will be the priority of the tree consultant to retain as many trees as possible. If any trees are worth keeping but simply cannot remain in the same location due to the nature of the development plans, the arboriculturist will be forced to relocate them elsewhere.

After all Essex tree populations on the site have been inspected and evaluated, the process will be completed as all tree surveys and tree services would – with the creation of a tree report. Data from the assessment, an AutoCAD map of trees on the site and mitigation for present trees will appear within BS5837 tree reports. If the tree surveyor is satisfied, they will make a recommendation of planning consent to the local planning authority, and if anything is outstanding – such as a need for additional tree surveys – this will also be made clear in the tree report.

Get a Free Quote for a Tree Survey

From issues with an ash tree, eucalyptus tree or willow tree to the need for oak tree reports, plum tree reports or silver birch tree reports, our team has seen it all and can step in to help with any problems relating to trees and planning. Every arboricultural consultant in our ranks has in-depth experience in conducting tree services and tree surveys, an understanding of Essex tree species, knowledge of the local authority in Essex and other South-Eastern parts of England, and the skills to offer a professional service.

Helped by previous roles in tree surgery as professional tree surgeons, our arboriculturists have lived and breathed trees, so pitting that advanced skill alongside a comprehensive acquaintance with the Essex area, your tree reports will carry all of the information you need to secure planning. Instead of committing straight away, feel free to send us the specifications of your site via email, over the phone or through our website, and we will send you a free quote for you to look over. As soon as you decide to move forward with Arbtech, we will arrange a suitable time to conduct a tree survey and assemble your tree report.

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