Hampshire Woodland and Tree Stock
Back in 2020, Hampshire County Council made a specific commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2050, in part by holding a drive to preserve existing trees while raising efforts to plant new ones. The county is renowned for its thick forests and heritage trees, and according to the National Forest Industry, the New Forest area alone contains 22,401 hectares of woodland, contributing to the county amassing more than 29% woodland cover. Trees are also an integral part of the various environmental initiatives spearheaded by Hampshire’s assorted local authorities, with East Hampshire District Council going as far as committing to planting 120,000 new trees.
Sustainable development is a priority in Hampshire, with large brownfield sites like Bushfield Camp in Winchester being included in the local plan alongside regeneration projects in Gosport and Andover. Planning projects will bring jobs to the county and generate money for the local economy, giving even more reason for new-build housing, property extensions, and brownfield sites to experience a new lease of life. All in all, the efforts to support projects in Hampshire are a win-win for developers providing the development work is carried out with due care and consideration for the environment.
Although unlikely to be the first concern a developer would need to consider in the early planning stages, any and all trees on or near a development site must be assessed as one of several tick boxes that contribute to a planning application being validated. Particularly in the case of protected trees, it is possible for a tree to cause rejected submissions for planning permission and serious penalties awarded to developers without tangible evidence in the form of a tree report following a tree survey.
Regulation of Native Trees
Between Hampshire County Council and the multiple local councils within various parts of the county, trees are covered on a comprehensive scale. Like all sections of England, certain trees are chosen as possessing sufficient value to be protected by the local council. Two parameters that are commonly used by the local authorities are known as tree preservation orders (TPOs) and conservation areas, with both options sharing close similarities with one another.
A tree preservation order applies to a single tree and a conservation area involves any number of trees in a set area. Any time a tree is within these restrictions, consent must be obtained from the local council before any works that could disrupt them are executed. Hampshire County Council also have other parameters in place regarding native trees that apply to any that are dead, dying or dangerous, are an obstruction of light or television reception to houses and gardens, or have damaged property, overhanging branches, falling leaves, debris, bird droppings or aphid problems, or branches that are obscuring street lighting.
BS5837 Tree Inspections
In order to collect relevant data and demonstrate an intention to protect and preserve higher-quality trees and justify the loss of lower-quality trees, an arboricultural consultant will have to conduct a type of inspection known as a BS5837 tree survey. Each tree will need to be assigned a category to tell the developer, the tree officer and the planning case officer how important an individual tree may or may not be to the proximate ecosystem.
Category A trees are critical, B trees are important, C trees are low quality, and U trees are dead, dying or dangerous. The resulting marks will then dictate what happens to the trees, with retention standing as the priority outcome, followed by relocation, and then destruction with equal compensation as a last resort. Any trees that are destroyed will only be given this outcome if they are beyond saving or carry health and safety risks and simply aren’t worth relocating elsewhere.
Once all visual tree assessments are completed, all of the expert advice, tree care considerations and a map of trees on the site will be presented in an extensive arboricultural report. It will be produced by the tree consultant and opens up an opportunity to offer advice on any remaining elements that will lead the path to satisfying the local planning authority. Most importantly, the tree report following a tree survey will remove any outstanding obstacles that stand in the way of successful planning applications.
Utilise Our Team’s Expert Knowledge and Experience
From small projects to large projects and from tree owners to homeowners, our tree survey and tree report services apply to a vast range of different clients all over Southern England. The arboriculture team at Arbtech is a thriving hub of experts when it comes to trees in conjunction with planning. Any time a client requests our help, you will be matched with a local expert who can attend your development site in Hampshire with a thorough knowledge of the area, the local council, and the steps needed to secure the necessary planning consents.
All of our arboricultural consultants are experienced in undertaking tree surveys, with some even coming from a background as a qualified arborist carrying out tree surgery services, only adding to their understanding of trees, tree species and tree care. You can receive a free quote simply by sending us details about your site, project and requirements. Just call, email, complete a quote form or visit our contact page, and you will be sent an accurate quote shortly after. If you decide to choose Arbtech, let us know and we can arrange a date to undertake the required tree surveys and create your tree report.