Do you need a tree survey for planning in Chester?
Tree Survey Chester: Trees and woodland are cherished in Chester. Cheshire West and Chester Council have long advocated the benefits trees bring to the environment and people of the borough. Perhaps best shown by their place as lead partner in The Mersey Forest from the beginning. Cheshire East Council joined The Mersey Forest initiative more recently and have set a target to become carbon neutral by 2025. Therefore, this commitment to preserving, protecting, and planting trees in both local authority areas is likely to intensify.
As a result, planning officers will take any tree issues very seriously when making their determinations. However, they’re not an insurmountable obstacle. Indeed, the local authorities are keen to move forward with significant developments: notably, under the Chester One City Plan. This initiative is due to run through until 2027 to bring investment, drive development and grow the local economy.
So, whilst there are plenty of opportunities for developers and homeowners alike to maximise the value of their sites and properties, it’s unlikely that development will be permitted at the expense of trees and woodlands. Further, well-cared for green spaces add significant subjective and objective value in the eyes of residents and investors, leading to sustained, long-term growth in the value of land and property.
Ultimately, if your development will interfere with even one off-site tree, you are obliged to take this into account. Failing to do so could lead to you being refused planning permission. Therefore, it’s in your interest to have a tree survey at the design or pre-application stage.
Cheshire’s #1 Arboricultural Consultancy
As of 2016, Chester’s tree canopy was measured at 14%. Whilst this isn’t highest figure in the country, it compares favourably with similar cities. The Cheshire West and Chester local authority area also contains over 28,000 trees along with more than 500 hectares of woodland. There are also a combined 173 conservation areas across the two local authorities (96 in Cheshire West and Chester, 77 in Cheshire East) where developments that affect trees will be under even closer scrutiny, and of course, thousands of Tree Preservation Orders. It’s obvious then, that whether you’re looking to gain planning permission for a rural or urban development, the chances of you having to contend with one or more trees are high.
Regardless of whether your site is in a conservation area or not, trees are a serious consideration. The CWaC tree team, led a friend of the Arbtech family, Tim Williams, senior arboricultural officer, and your planning Case Officer will carefully review your application. If they’re not satisfied that you’ve provided sufficient detail as to how you’re going to manage the impact your development has on any trees, they will (rightly) refuse it. This is as much for your benefit as theirs: If you go ahead and damage a tree during development without consent for that activity, you risk a fine of up to £20,000 if the tree is in a conservation area. In extreme cases, heard in Crown Court, the fine is unlimited. Here’s a recent prosecution where Persimmon Homes were fined tens of thousands of pounds for exactly this.
There’s no need for alarm, however. A BS5837 tree survey will ensure that you’re able to provide the information the planning department needs to make a determination that’s in your favour.
Hundreds of 5 star reviews
Tree surveys to support planning applications are relatively straightforward. Our surveyor will visit your site and categorise every tree on or adjacent to it from A to U.
Cat A trees are critical to the local ecology and/or historically significant. They’re generally large, old, and visually appealing. At the other end of the scale are Cat U trees. These trees are already dead, soon to be dead, or dangerous. These are the trees you’d expect to remove anyway to safeguard the people, buildings, and infrastructure on or near the site.
In the middle are Cat B and C trees. How you propose to manage these trees often makes or breaks your planning application. Some contribute enormously to the environment by drawing up stormwater runoff or hosting a variety of animals, plants, and fungi. Others are less vital, and the local authority will tolerate a more assertive approach to their management, up to and including removal if sound justification is presented.
This justification is often the key to you being granted planning permission whilst making the most of your development opportunities.
Arboricultural Impact Assessments – what are they?
Your tree report will contain the advice and information you need to demonstrate how your scheme protects higher quality trees and justifies the loss of lower quality trees.
In Cheshire West and Chester’s planning and environment department, Tim and his team are looking to see how you intend to meet your obligations. Your arboricultural survey will show this via an arboricultural impact assessment. This assessment takes the canopy (above-ground) and root protection area (below-ground) into consideration, by overlaying the survey data onto a drawing, along with the scheme. They can then make a recommendation to their colleagues in the planning office and if you choose Arbtech and follow our recommendations, we guarantee that they will accept your survey and report—or your money back.
Why are we so confident? Well, we undertake north of 3,000 projects a year and have a 100% success rate at planning.
In fact, we’ve helped secure hundreds of planning consents for our clients in Chester alone.
Chester’s longest established arboricultural consultants
Every one of our surveyors that cover the north west region from our offices in Chester (Alan Thompson, Max Bell, Matt Edwards, Mel Reid) is 100% committed to getting clients through planning, and they’re all directly employed by us. Unlike our competitors, we don’t put subcontractors on your site.
We don’t get involved in TPO appeals, subsidence work, or similar. So, you can be sure that your tree survey in Chester will be handled from start to finish one of our arboricultural surveyors that are genuine experts in solving tree problems to secure planning permission.
We understand the local plan, the needs of the communities, are aware of the local interest groups who object to any development as a matter of course and be conversant with the policies the Chester planning departments use to make their determinations. Best of all, they’ll share all of that critical information with you in a friendly, straightforward manner.
Your surveyor also has the backing of a national operator. Our team is made up of over 30 home and office-based staff, all of whom are dedicated to making sure you get the tree advice you need to secure planning permission, fast.
Cheshire East Council. N.D. Conservation Areas. [Online]. Available at: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/[Accessed 22 January 2021]
Chester Growth Partnership. N.D. One City Plan. [Online]. Available at: http://chester.westcheshiregrowth.co.uk/projects/one-city-plan/ [Accessed 22 January 2021]
Chester West and Chester Borough Council. N.D. Trees and tree preservation order maps. [Online]. Available at: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/ [Accessed 22 January 2021]
Cresswell, S. 2019. New strategy aims to improve woodland in Cheshire West and Chester. [Online]. Available at: https://www.chesterstandard.co.uk/[Accessed 22 January 2021]
Doick, J., Davies, H., Moss, J., Coventry, R., Handley, P., VasMonterio, M., Rogers, K., Simpkin, P. 2016. The Canopy Cover of England’s Towns and Cities: Baselining and setting targets to improve human health and well-being. [Online]. Available at: https://www.charteredforesters.org/ [Accessed 22 January 2021]
Gov.uk. N.D. Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas. [Online]. Available at: https://www.gov.uk [Accessed 22 January 2021]
Houston, D. 2020. Cheshire East Council announce partnership to boost tree planting ambitions. [Online]. Available at: https://www.cheshire-live.co.uk [Accessed 22 January 2021]