Gloucestershire’s Present and Surrounding Trees
Due to Gloucestershire being green and featuring a higher tree coverage than the national average, the number of trees in the county is likely to increase in the coming years. A recommendation from the government’s climate change committee insisted that woodland cover across the country would increase to an average of 19% by 2050, and in response, the local authorities in Gloucestershire set an ambitious target of 20% by 2030, exceeding the national average 20 years ahead of the proposed deadline.
Challenges are expected along the road to meeting such a goal, and issues like ash dieback are a significant problem in the Cotswolds and other areas of Gloucestershire. It is inevitable that the disease will cause the death of most of the UK’s ash tree stock, and considering the dominance of the species throughout the Cotswolds, the large number of deaths will result in significant habitat loss and a devastating decrease in tree cover. In response, organisations across the county have stepped up to support landowners and communities to plant new trees as compensation for dwindling ash trees.
From extending the total of trees located in Gloucestershire to mitigating the loss of individual trees as a result of damaging diseases, staging a proposed development can be tricky, particularly if it is situated near woodland areas or specific trees that are protected. The main concern will be whether or not these trees will affect your planning project. Decisions regarding planning applications are under intense scrutiny, and the renewed concerns for the environment only increase the pressure on planners to make the correct decisions.
Trees unsurprisingly play a crucial part in environmentally-friendly strategies due to their ability to absorb carbon and produce oxygen. Removing trees unnecessarily won’t be easy, especially after Gloucestershire County Council joined with the majority of local authorities in the UK in committing to reaching net zero carbon by 2030. That said, even large developments are going ahead as planned, including a recently granted application for planning consent on a £195 million development in Twigworth and on a 97-home eco-village between Gloucester and Stroud. To summarise, the planning process will run smoothly as long as developers arrange a tree survey any time trees are present on the development site.
Developing Gloucester for the Future
The primary purpose of a tree survey is to conclude with the creation of a tree report that can give the local planning officer all of the information to eliminate any remaining concerns and facilitate planning permission. It is their duty to remain as stringent as possible when it comes to making planning decisions, with an obligation to protect, preserve and enhance the state of the natural environment, helped by the utilisation of conservation areas and tree preservation orders (TPOs)
As trees and wooded areas can appear in practically any location, so can any number of protected trees under the common parameters. A tree preservation order and conservation area are the same in the sense that both need prior consent from the local council before any applicable trees are disrupted. The former is typically used to protect specific trees and the latter is typically used to protect multiple trees in a set area. Developers will not be able to tell whether present trees are under any existing conditions implemented to protect trees, making the need for outside intervention crucial.
Tree Surveys to Support Planning Applications
A BS5837 tree survey is the common type of assessment used to evaluate all trees on a development site and provide vital information to the local planning authority that will contribute to a successful planning application. On a chosen date, an arboricultural consultant will visit the site and analyse the condition and value of all trees before giving them a grade. Alongside indicating the current standard of the tree, it will also indicate the next steps between retaining the trees, moving them elsewhere, or destroying them.
Every time BS5837 tree surveys are carried out, the aim will be to come away with as many retained trees as possible. If that simply isn’t possible, trees that hold value, have the potential for longevity and are in a safe condition but are an obstruction to the development plans will be safely relocated elsewhere. Under alternative circumstances, trees may be dead, dying or a health and safety concern to individuals on the site. Such trees will need to be destroyed, with the arboriculturist compensating for the loss of ecological value by planting trees of a similar species.
In order to display key information from the tree survey such as the canopy cover and root protection areas, tree reports need to be put together by the tree consultant immediately after the inspection. They will also consist of tree care recommendations, further surveys if needed such as an arboricultural method statement (AMS) or arboricultural impact assessment (AIA), and any other advised practices and exercises that will convince the local planning authorities to grant planning applications.
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If you are concerned that trees located on your development site may be under an existing tree preservation order or situated in any number of conservation areas, you need to display assurances to tree owners involved with your site, you have health and safety concerns about retained trees, or you want advice in regard to tree care or health and safety, Arbtech can help. In fact, we doubt that you will be able to find another tree surveyor who knows as much about the ins and outs of the planning system and how to deliver arboricultural advice as the experts in our team.
Offering assessments all over the country, we can ensure that you are able to book a tree survey – Gloucestershire or otherwise. All you need to do is reach out to Arbtech by calling us, emailing us, filling out a quote form or checking out our contact page, and we can use your details to send you a free quote for a tree survey and tree report for your planning project. Once you give us the green light, we can send one of our team to undertake a tree survey, assemble the necessary tree reports, and divulge the advice you need to protect trees and meet the requirements of the local planning authority.