Manchester’s Minimal Countryside
A thriving urban location, the City of Manchester is comprised of 38 areas and surrounded by ten metropolitan boroughs in the broader Greater Manchester County. As with all predominantly urban areas such as the City of Manchester, local councils are ordered to enhance the standard of biodiversity and only allow for further developments if ecological and environmental factors are considered.
The second largest city in the UK after London, Manchester has limited rural areas, with the most popular including Chorlton Water Park, Debdale Park, Heaton Park and Wythenshawe Park. As it continues to grow in size and stature, the City of Manchester becomes more reminiscent of London by the year. Unfortunately, staging further planning projects means that any remaining countryside areas of the city are under threat and biodiversity is set to take a hit.
In an effort to counteract the natural degradation to the environment caused by developments, the City of Trees initiative aims to plant countless new trees in Manchester, increasing the number of trees, expanding woodland areas, improving air quality, and supporting the environment. Currently, the City of Trees has planted over 500,000 trees and built on woodland by more than 250 hectares.
Between independent and government-supported initiatives that intend on increasing the number of trees in Manchester, and policies enforced by local councils that preserve and protect existing trees at all costs, developers are likely to undergo multiple stumbling blocks during their project, particularly if trees are present on the site. Fortunately, however, developers can move forwards with their project and secure planning consent by reaching out to an arboricultural consultancy for a tree survey.
Tree Strategy for the City of Manchester
Information on the efforts by Manchester City Council to conserve, preserve and protect trees can be found on their website. The two primary protections are Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and conservation areas. Under certain pieces of legislation – particularly section 198 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 – specific trees can be placed under a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to restrict disturbance to the trees in question.
Whenever a proposed development is likely to disrupt a tree under an existing TPO, the developer would first need to gain consent from the local council, as all trees under TPOs are controlled by the corresponding council. Conservation areas are similar to TPOs, but with an emphasis on specific zones rather than individual trees. For example, a planning project could involve a listed conservation area, and if it does, the local council would need to be given six weeks’ notice before trees within the area face any disturbance as a result of the development.
BS5837 Tree Surveys and Reports
Even the baseline restrictions over trees from Tree Preservation Orders and listed areas of conservation could pose obstructions to developers. It is possible to bypass any problems relating to trees on the specific development site by arranging a British Standard 5837 tree survey with a licensed, qualified and capable arboriculturist. On a set date, an arboricultural surveyor will visit the development site to conduct the BS5837 tree survey. At this point, all trees present on the development site will be analysed before the arboriculturist marks each of them with a grading based on value and condition.
Using the grading given to each tree, the arboricultural consultant will choose the best course of action. In any circumstance, the priority outcome would be to retain trees that are in a good state and possess value. If these sorts of trees are hindering the development plans in a way that is impossible to avoid, the arboriculturist may choose to move them elsewhere on or off the site, or destroy them before planting a tree of equal quality to compensate. Destroying trees will also happen if the trees are poor in quality, breach tree safety, or don’t hold enough value to be worth retaining on the site.
Including a combination of information about the arboricultural survey, details about surrounding trees and trees on the site, and suggestions of further tree surveys such as an arboricultural impact assessment or tree surveys that could address certain needs such as for mortgage providers or during remedial work, the arboriculturist will develop a tree report immediately after. As it will feature clearly explained next steps for every tree on the development site, the tree survey report will play a crucial role in planning applications, as the local planning authority within Manchester City Council will base their decision to grant or deny a planning application on the contents of tree reports.
Manchester Tree Experts
Following more than 15 years experience satisfying clients across the country with arboricultural and ecological surveys, Arbtech are a worthy option for visiting your site and undertaking a tree survey. We are strict with the arboriculturists we hire, so you can rest assured that any arboricultural consultants sent to your site possesses the knowledge, expertise and experience to carry out a tree survey capable of supporting your application for a planning condition.
Covering England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and sections of mainland Europe upon request, our arboricultural surveyors are distributed all over the UK, meaning we are ready and able to attend your site within a moment’s notice. All you need to do is speak to our team by calling the number above or filling in the quick quote form, provide us with details of your site and project, and we will send you a free quote. If you are happy with the quote, get in touch to confirm that you would like to move forwards with us, and our team will work with you to decide on a date for an arboriculturist to stage a BS5837 tree survey or any other tree survey you require during a site visit.