Potential Impact of a Development Project on Trees
Like many other local councils across England, the local authorities in Warwickshire are taking significant action to combat climate change, including allocating £20 million to facilitate initiatives intended to reduce carbon emissions. Through an ability to absorb carbon and emit oxygen, trees are a powerful tool to assist with achieving this goal, making it a certainty that individual trees and patches of woodland will form an integral part of the various strategies and plans that will come into fruition in the coming years.
Other bodies and groups are planting trees too, such as the creation of a 30,000-acre broadleaf woodland led by Forestry England and the estimated 160,000 trees that Warwick District Council are planting for every resident. An increased number of trees also means a heightened likelihood of encountering them on prospective development sites, and as trees can appear almost anywhere, developers would need to consider the likely need for a tree survey or risk complications with progressing into future stages and obtaining planning permission.
Planning applications can be contentious at the best of times, but when trees are involved, things can get a lot more complicated. Even critical central government-led infrastructure schemes aren’t exempt from weighty opposition, with residents of left dismayed to see a 250-year-old pear tree felled despite an opposing petition garnering around 20,000 signatures. As long as the necessary tree reports have been presented to the local planning authority, planning projects are allowed to continue. Local councils throughout Warwickshire have consented to countless big and small developments, including a £200 million business park scheme in Stafford district, the construction of 300 new homes in Alcester, and even a proposal to transform historic farm buildings on greenbelt land in Solihull.
Planning Policies Designed to Protect Trees
It is understandable to find additional assessments such as tree surveys to be a costly inconvenience, especially if you are new to planning or simply haven’t had to arrange any before. Unfortunately, however, going ahead with your proposed development plans without booking a tree survey isn’t sensible and can lead to serious criminal consequences. For example, a developer in Rugby did exactly this when they cut down eight protected trees, were fined £10,000, and ordered to replace all eight.
Conservation areas and tree preservation orders (TPOs) are the two primary methods of the local authority protecting single trees and groups of trees. A conservation area applies to all trees within a chosen location and a tree preservation order applies to single trees in isolation. Both protective measures share similarities, such as that developers staging a project on a plot of land with defended trees present have a legal obligation to request permission from the local council before any tree work takes place.
Comprehensive BS5837 Assessment
To meet the specific needs of the local authorities and secure planning consent, the most suitable assessment would be a BS5837 tree survey. It sees an arboricultural surveyor attending the site of the proposed development and analysing all trees present before producing a detailed report of their findings and recommended measures that will enable the project to continue. Grades will be gifted to every tree, and depending on the chosen grade, different outcomes will be concluded.
The best way for a tree consultant to complete BS5837 tree surveys would be by coming away with as many retained trees as possible. It will be viable to do this for trees that are valuable and in good condition, but even if that is the case for trees that are an unavoidable obstruction to the development, the arboriculturist will suggest moving them elsewhere inside or outside the site. Trees that are dead, dying or a potential risk to health and safety will be destroyed and replaced with new trees.
A tree report will be put together by the arboricultural consultant following all tree surveys, and a BS5837 tree survey is no different. Looking specifically at this type of assessment, the tree reports will include a pragmatic approach that will allow the development project to continue, advised steps for individual trees situated on the site, any additional types of tree survey that will reach the expectations of the local council, and assuming all boxes have been ticked, a recommendation to grant the planning application.
Turn to Arbtech for a Tree Survey
All of the fully qualified tree surveyors in our arboricultural consultancy are employed directly by Arbtech, and rather than designating jobs randomly, we cater to every part of the country by investing in the advantages of local experts who can base their decisions on correct information regarding the local area and the relevant local authorities. That way, you will be able to tap into the advice and expertise of a professional tree surveyor who has extensive knowledge of Warwickshire County Council and past experience in a wide range of areas relating to arboriculture, such as felling and stump grinding.
Covering the entirety of the country, all locations can experience an Arbtech tree survey – Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and all parts of the West Midlands therein. Developers, tree owners or anyone else who would benefit from one of our tree surveys can receive a free quote simply by getting in touch. Do this by calling us, emailing us or filling out a form on our contact page, and if you are happy with the quote, let us know, and we can instruct our experienced consultants to attend your site, conduct tree surveys with our uniquely pragmatic approach, and give you everything in the corresponding tree reports to gain planning permission from the local planning authority.