Need an Arboricultural Consultant in Croydon?
If you’ve been asked for a tree survey and impact assessment for your application in Croydon, we’re here to help.
A cleaner, greener Croydon is the goal, and you won’t be surprised to read that trees are an integral part of this transformation. In fact, in 2020 the Borough planted hundreds of new trees. This trend shows no sign of slowing down as Council have committed to planting 3,500 trees by 2022 in a bid to improve air quality.
This commendable commitment to improving the calibre of the local environment isn’t coming at the expense of development, either. Croydon is in the midst of a £5.25 billion regeneration program with the aim of revitalising the town centre. This means new homes, over 23,000 new jobs and a significant expansion of the local infrastructure.
Developers and homeowners alike will benefit from this investment, as opportunities to improve unused or under-utilised sites and maximising the value of existing properties are plentiful.
Trees, BS5837 surveys, and planning applications in Croydon
There are plenty of trees in Croydon. In fact, there’s more tree cover here than in large swathes of the countryside. Croydon is one of two London boroughs (the other being Camden) to feature in the top 20 places in England and Wales with the most tree cover. A significant contributor to this is the number of trees in private gardens.
The extensive canopy cover means the likelihood of you having to contend with one or more trees in the course of your development is high. This isn’t something to be taken lightly, because if your Tree Officer determines that you’ve not put measures in place to protect and retain the better-quality trees on, or adjacent to your site, they will refuse to grant you a planning consent. Go ahead anyway, and you risk a fine of up to £20,000 if you destroy or cut down a tree if it’s in a conservation area; or potentially much, much more if the trees are the subject of a Tree Preservation Order and you knowingly remove them to facilitate development. (Enzo Homes and one of its directors were recently convicted and fined £300k for the same offence).
This is where engaging one of our arboricultural consultants can add a lot of value, because trees aren’t necessarily a barrier to development. They just need to be considered in the right way and ideally, as early in the design process as possible.
In simple terms, a BS5837 tree survey will categorise the trees on and adjacent to your site based on a tree’s size, health, expected longevity, contribution to the ecosystem, and historical significance. This categorisation system, which ranges from Cat A (historically significant and/or ecologically critical) to Cat U (dying, dead, or dangerous) will enable your Case Officer to see how your scheme layout and process has taken account of the need to retain and protect the best trees on site and compensate for the removal of those which are not significant enough to constrain a development i.e., those cat C and U, but nevertheless will result in a net loss of canopy cover.
It’s important to note that even a tree that seems insignificant can be an ecological lynchpin, providing shelter and the basis for a food chain for a variety of animals (bats; birds), as well as e.g. contributing to the reduction of risk from stormwater runoff, and more besides—so a cursory glance at your site from a non-expert may result in a design that later has to be changed to accommodate a tree or group of trees, previously thought to be inconsequential. Major design changes are rarely free, and almost always more expensive than the tree survey that could have avoided the need to start over in the first place!
Therefore, it’s in your interest to bring in an arboriculturist at the earliest opportunity.
Arboricultural planning support services
We’re here to help you maximise your development opportunities by giving you the information you need to demonstrate how your scheme protects higher quality trees and justifies the loss of lower quality trees. In essence, it’s a question of balance.
Croydon’s tree officers need to see how you’re going to meet your obligations, and once your survey is done, you can demonstrate this compliance with the recommendations of BS5837 through an exercise called an arboricultural impact assessment. This takes both the canopy (above ground) and root protection area (below ground) constraints to development into consideration.
Speaking of planning permission, we have secured hundreds of planning consents for our clients in Croydon alone.
We’re justifiably proud of proud of our reputation, which has been won for us by our team.
We don’t use subcontractors, nor do we undertake subsidence work or get involved with TPO appeals. Every one of our team of tree consultants is laser-focused on BS5837, trees and securing people with tree problems a hassle-free planning consent.
Your tree survey will be carried out by one of our London arboricultural consultancy team: Jon, Aran or Matt (see “about us” for their staff profiles) who are backed up by the administrative resources and infrastructure only a national operator like my team Arbtech can bring.
They’ll understand the local plan, the specific tree related policies that Croydon apply in the assessment of your application and be aware of the local interest groups (resident’s associations, etc) who object to any development as a matter of course, and be conversant with the policies the Croydon planning department use to make their determinations.
Together, this means you’ll enjoy lightning-fast service that delivers advice that will secure you planning permission—or your money back.
Croydon Council. N.D. Croydon town centre regeneration. [Online]. Available at: https://new.croydon.gov.uk/ [Accessed 14 January 2021]
Croydon Council. N.D. Trees in conservation areas. [Online]. Available at: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/ [accessed 14 January 2021]
Develop Croydon. 2020. Croydon announces tree planting drive. [Online]. Available at: https://developcroydon.com/ [Accessed 14 January 2021]
Stephenson, W. 2020. Gardens help towns and cities beat countryside for tree cover. [Online]. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/ [Accessed 14 January 2021]