Halifax Tree Surveys and Arboricultural Assessments
Across Halifax and other areas of Calderdale such as Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, Ripponden and Todmorden, over four-fifths of the district is rural. With such a significant percentage of the countryside, the conservation and preservation of natural areas and assets is a priority aim for the local council.
The focus on maintaining the standard of fields, trees and woodland from the council may be supported by the people of Halifax and surrounding towns, but it could also act as an obstacle to land developers. As a method of operating within the council’s rules, avoiding any potentially troublesome delays, and continuing with your proposed development project, it would be advisable to arrange a tree survey through a recognised and reliable company.
Calderdale Council Tree Policies
Multiple towns and villages are part of the metropolitan borough of Calderdale, and as a result, they all fall under the same legislation as introduced, implemented and enforced by Calderdale Council. Currently, the council has a conservation strategy for preserving ancient monuments, conservation areas, historic gardens and parks, and listed buildings, as well as specific rules for protecting certain trees and hedges within Calderdale.
Calderdale Council preserve trees and hedges within their geographical jurisdiction in a number of ways, including through:
Felling Licences –
In any development project involving a greenfield site, it may be necessary to cut down trees that are likely to obstruct the construction process. When this happens, you will need to apply for a felling licence from the Forestry Commission. Calderdale Council will then be informed of your application, and the decision of whether or not to grant your request will be in their hands. Active applications will be available on the Forestry Commission Public Register for four weeks.
For more information on this process, a guide to applying for a felling licence is available on the government website.
High hedge complaint forms –
Although not always applicable, there are some circumstances where your plot of land may be obstructed by high hedges from neighbouring areas.
Prior to getting in touch with Calderdale Council, it would be worth contacting your neighbour directly as resolving the issue privately would be less troublesome and save you time. If, however, this isn’t possible and the hedgerows are at least two metres high, evergreen and consisting of two or more lines of trees, you can make a formal complaint to the council.
Tree conservation areas –
If a tree situated in a listed conservation area needs to be removed due to a development project, Calderdale Council need to be notified at least six weeks before the work is set to begin. Notifying the council should be done in writing with a detailed explanation of the proposed work being carried out and a location plan that clearly indicates where the trees are positioned on the plot of land.
No charge will be applied for notifying the council about a tree being removed from a conservation area. However, if the tree has a diameter that is less than 7.5 centimetres, or if it is dying, dead or a potential hazard, the council do not need to be notified.
Tree Preservation Orders –
Under section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Calderdale Council reserve the right to protect trees and woodland using tree preservation orders (TPO). Through a TPO, the council’s consent is required before specific trees are damaged, destroyed, felled, lopped, pruned, topped or uprooted. It also ensures that a replacement tree is planted as compensation for any trees under a tree preservation order that are removed. Bushes, hedges and shrubs cannot be included in a TPO, but groups of trees, standalone trees and woodland can.
Before breaking ground on your land development project, it is crucial that you are aware of any trees on the plot of land that are currently under a TPO. You can find out if any trees on the specific plot of land hold TPOs by checking the tree preservations orders and Conservation map or by contacting Calderdale Council’s planning services department.
Arboricultural Assessments for Land Development Projects
Throughout the process of your land development project, you will want to minimise the number of factors that could potentially cause delays. After seeing the parameters set by Calderdale Council for projects in Halifax and other applicable areas, you may be concerned that your development could be under threat. By booking a BS5837 tree survey, however, you can remain within the rules, identify any protected trees on or in close proximity to your site, categorise tree species, determine the potential impact of your development plans, bypass any major obstacles, make informed decisions for each protected tree and single tree present, and progress your development project.
A British standard assessment, a BS5837 tree survey entails arboricultural consultants outlining the nature of trees on the plot of land to the local planning authority. Using a grading system that determines each tree’s current condition and value, the tree surveyor will produce a drawing of the site and assemble tree reports that explain methods to protect trees on the plot of land, quantify the trees’ health, retain high-quality trees, account for tree care moving forwards, compensate for the loss of low-quality trees, and undertake tree removal correctly and safely where necessary.
The results of the assessment will enable the surveyor to gauge whether additional surveys are required and put forward any other factors that will work towards a successful planning permission application in the eyes of the local authorities. In the event of other tree services being needed based on the outcome of the tree survey, arboricultural consultants and other professionals can be brought in to ensure that all of the boxes from the local authority are ticked.
Tree Consultants in Halifax
Securing planning applications on your plot of land is a vital stage in the development process. With this in mind, identifying an arboricultural consultancy that is suitably experienced and qualified to assist you in navigating the many variables and considerations should be a priority. Our dedicated team are all over the country – including West Yorkshire – and offers tree services to a high standard that are designed to help in planning applications and meet other planning requirements.
At Arbtech, we possess the expertise you need to have a planning application accepted, and we have arboriculturists across the country covering Halifax and other sections of Calderdale. If you are developing in this area and have trees on your plot of land, get in touch today and we will provide you with a free quote, book your tree survey with one of our arboricultural consultants, and help you to get your application for planning consent approved by the local planning authority.