Everything you need to know
An arboricultural impact assessment, and a tree protection plan drawing, are both documents that pertain to British Standard 5837:2012. They both deal with the precise methods and mechanisms for protecting high quality trees that you have chosen to retain in your final development scheme.
Often these documents are quite straight forward to produce, however, if your application involves intensive ground works in close proximity to trees and within root protection areas, then we need to adopt a belt and braces approach, and the production of the method statement becomes a much more iterative process.
Most of the time, your method statement and tree protection plan drawing are required of you as a condition of planning consent. Increasingly though, our customers are being asked to supply these documents with their application, before it is determined. (This is particularly true in many London boroughs, though by no means exclusively so). Most method statements and protection plans will need to cover a few common factors, including for example:
- Tree retentions/removals
- A schedule of tree works
- Surface treatment and level changes in proximity to trees
- Transportation and storage of materials
- Siting of protective barrier fencing
- Tree planting and landscape treatments
- Engineering solutions for e.g. excavating near/within a root protection area
- Any arboricultural supervision of site works that may be demanded by your local authority
Our arboriculturists have all worked on some of the most prestigious and complex installations near trees, ever dreamed up by engineers. We’ve helped TFL essential tunnel under a mature London plane (Platanus x hispanica); we’ve helped about homeowners in Belgravia put considerable basements under and in proximity to protected common limes (Tilia europaea); and we were instrumental in negotiating with City of Westminster planners to play our part in achieving this.
So whatever you’ve got planned, let us deploy the finest minds in UK trees and planning to help you achieve your development goals.
How We Work
Before procuring a method statement and protection plan, you will already be forearmed with an arboricultural impact assessment and tree survey. From here, we open a dialogue with you and, if necessary with the local planning authority, to arrive at the most conservative, cost effective tree protection measures that allow you to achieve your aspirations and goals for your development.
Over the years, our arboriculturists (‘team arb’ as they are known internally) have built relationships of mutual respect with the majority of local planning authorities in England and Wales. We leverage these relationships to your advantage, which makes any negotiation over engineering solutions and tree protective measures as swift and painless as possible.
For instance, we know t a certainty that if you want to reduce the size of a root protection area to increase your developable space and therefore (once assumes) the intrinsic, tangible profit/value realised on any development, there’s no better way than to open a trench with an air spade, along the line you would like to build, or at least think the roots will realistically terminate.
We do this regularly for customers, taking photographic and video evidence of doing so, so that we can present a cast-iron case to your local authority’s Tree Officer, which is very difficult for him/her to argue with. If you would like us to investigate reducing your RPAs and producing a method statement, we’d love to hear from you.
Your arboricultural method statement and tree protection drawing will be plan oriented, so that all of the relevant information about surface treatments, level changes, utilities runs and building footprints (etc!) is communicated on a single page – albeit a big one – in a clear, concise and unmistakable format.
It will normally be produce in AutoCAD and look something like this:
Contained within your method statement and protection plan, it is not uncommon for hard surface treatments to be specified by our arboriculturists as tree friendly. This means that the loading must not be wholly transferred vertically, and must allow of the exchange of water and air (i.e. be porous). An easy example to illustrate this would be GeoSynthetics® cellular confinement system; CellWeb.
CellWeb is a favourite of Arbtech because of its low cost, speed of delivery, the fantastic customer service from GeoSynthetics® and the acceptance rate (backed up by published research) of local authorities. It comprises a honeycomb like structure which is rolled out over and area and pegged to the ground. The ‘cells’ are then charged with a washed, no fines aggregate and then flattened. This can be left as is, or finished with a porous surface treatment, such as paving.
Below you can view a series of photographs taken at an Arbtech site in Ealing, West London, where CellWeb has been installed:
You can see how the finished product looks very much akin to a gravel driveway would – only this is tree friendly. Often putting the access near trees using this method means you have more space on the rest of your site for building footprints, increasing the profitability of your development, by using what is actually a very cost effective product.
We’ve been plugging CellWeb a lot lately, so it is worth stating at this point that Arbtech Consulting Limited have no commercial or otherwise relationship with GeoSynthetics® Limited or any associated company. We simply champion products and services in our industry that have made our lives simpler to the benefit of you, our customers.