West Sussex Tree Surveys – Planning Acceptance Guarantee

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Over 17 years experience
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Why Choose Arbtech?

Arbtech are the best asset you can possibly have when you need ecology or tree surveys to help you obtain planning permission.

Tree Surveyors in West Sussex: from Chichester to Brighton

No matter where you are in West Sussex, if there are trees on or near your development, it’s likely that you’ll need a tree survey to get planning permission for your scheme. 

Arbtech Senior Arboricultural Consultant, Matthew Middle works out of Clocktower House, Lindfield Enterprise Park, Lewes Road, Lindfield, West Sussex, RH16 2LH

Trees are central features of West Sussex’s urban and rural landscapes. In fact, West Sussex is the second most wooded county in the country, with woods covering about 19% of the land area. As such, the various local authorities are keen to protect and preserve existing trees and drive planting schemes like the “Donate a Tree Scheme” that further enhance the natural environment.

Even coastal cities like Brighton, where tree planting is difficult due to the harsh winds and alkaline topsoil, enjoy over 12,000 street trees and 500 hectares of woodland. And just over the county line in Portsmouth, you’ll find over 30,000 trees from a plethora of species. 

If you’re planning a development, you’re probably wondering if that oak in your garden, or the elms overhanging the boundary of your brownfield site mean you need a tree survey to accompany your planning application. 

Whilst we can’t definitively answer that question, your local planning authority can. So, if you’re not sure, the best thing to do is get in touch with them as soon as possible to avoid being refused planning permission and delays to your development schedule. 

West Sussex’s green development plans

Environmental concerns are high on the agenda, and trees are a vital part of West Sussex’s green future. Against a backdrop of shrinking budgets, the county council have put a new Tree Plan in place that invests in the county’s trees and woodland, balancing this against pressing development needs. 

Speaking of development, this overt commitment to trees and the environment won’t unduly inhibit construction in the county. Work to prepare a landfill site in Worthing that has been dormant since 1979 are underway. The goal here is to create 13,500 square metres of floor space for business. Similarly, in Selsey, near Chichester, a housebuilder recently purchased a site with planning permission to build 193 new homes. 

Whilst large schemes like these may not be particularly relevant to individual homeowners, the fact that they are being approved at a healthy rate speaks to a positive attitude towards development that everyone can benefit from. 

That said, it’s highly unlikely that any development will be permitted if it outright harms the environment, including any trees on or around the site. Especially as the new Environment Bill, set to be adopted towards the latter half of 2021, will re-enforce the protections afforded to trees by removing the cap on fines for illegal felling. 

Your tree survey and how it helps your planning application

Admittedly, getting planning permission for some developments is harder than others, particularly where high-quality trees are involved. This is because planning Case Officers have to defend their decision to grant planning consent.

Fortunately, Tree and Planning Officers make decisions based on policy and evidence, with considerable scope to exercise professional judgement. For you, this means the quality of your tree report matters. Simply put more, a robust report makes it easier for the Planning Officer to see that your development responsibly balances any disturbance or damage to trees with the needs of the local ecology and community. 

There are a few different types of tree report that fall under the category of “Tree Survey” but the most common is called a BS5837 Tree Survey. In short, this survey is for sites that have trees on or near them and covers construction, renovation, demolition, and design. Interestingly, they protect both the environment and you because they ensure that your development won’t be affected by large trees. After all, the last thing you want is for your brand-new extension to fall over because roots grew through the foundations…

BS5837 tree reports are a straightforward exercise. One of our expert tree surveyors will come to your site and examine any trees on or near it. They’ll then produce an AutoCAD drawing (that will also be sent over in PDF format) for your design team with an accompanying report that tells you, in detail, exactly what you need to do to get planning permission. Fundamentally, this report will tell the Planning Officer at your local district, borough, or city council how your scheme will protect higher quality trees and mitigate or compensate for the loss of lower quality trees.

We can do these surveys at any time of year, and on any day of the week (including weekends if you want to pay for the upgraded ‘weekend service’ option). All we need from you is a time and place – your Arbtech surveyor will do the rest!

As for planning permission, we know that you’ll get it. 

Because, as of 2021, we’re undertaking over 3,000 projects a year and have helped hundreds of people in West Sussex alone secure planning permission for their development.

But, on the off chance you don’t get planning permission we’ll give you your money back.

No questions. No quibbles.

Our team of West Sussex tree surveyors

Our team of 30+ surveyors and consultants are all specialists in solving tree problems to secure planning permission.

You won’t find better anywhere else in the country.

How do we know?

Because our tree consultants only do planning related work. No subsidence claims. No TPO appeals. And certainly no subcontractors. This means your survey will be managed by a highly trained specialist, directly employed by us who has 100% focus on getting you through planning.

The balance of our staff work from home too. So, although we’re a national operator, the consultant who comes to your site will have lived and worked in and around West Sussex for years (Probably Aran Nearn or Matt Middle. They’ll know about the contentious local planning issues, the special interest groups that routinely object to planning applications, and the unique ecological features West Sussex brings in spades.

All this comes together to ensure that you get the tree survey you need to get planning permission, first time, fast.

Fast Tree Surveys in West Sussex 

If you need a tree survey that contains all the advice you need to get planning permission (or your money back) – choose Arbtech.


Brighton and Hove City Council. N.D. Trees. [Online]. Available from: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

Forestry Commission. 2019. Cracking down on illegal felling. [Online]. Available from: https://forestrycommission.blog.gov.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

Jeffery, N. 2021. Housebuilder set to develop 193-home site in Selsey after land deal is agreed. [Online]. Available from: https://www.chichester.co.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

Plant Your Postcode. N.D. The History of Brighton and Hove’s Trees. [Online]. Available from: https://plantyourpostcode.org/brightons-trees/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

Portsmouth City Council. N.D. Portsmouth tree charter. [Online]. Available from: https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

Powling, J. 2020. Plans to protect West Sussex’s existing woodland and improve tree cover. [Online]. Available from: https://www.chichester.co.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

Powling, J. 2021. Site preparation underway for new Worthing employment hub. [Online]. Available from: https://www.worthingherald.co.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

West Sussex County Council. 2020. Donate a Tree Scheme. [Online]. Available from: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

West Sussex County Council. 2020. Trees, woodlands, and hedgerows. [Online]. Available from: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

West Sussex County Council. 2020. West Sussex Tree Plan. [Online]. Available from: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/ (Accessed 10th February 2021)

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