Trees & development

Trees are a material consideration in the UK planning system and Local Planning Authorities (LPA) have a statutory duty to consider the impacts of proposed developments when considering granting planning consent.

This means planning applications for sites with trees on or adjacent to them, must to be accompanied by a tree report. The report should follow the recommendations in the British Standard Institute publication BS 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations, or BS 5837 for short. 

Our consultants have provided BS 5837 reports for hundreds of successful planning applications, of all scales. We are experienced at collaborating with other project professionals and use up to date software to ensure we can all work effectively.

Our Trees and Development services are in line with the complete BS 5837 process which includes a number of aspects:

Feasibility and planning (pre application stage)

A tree survey: this records the attributes of each tree with an assessment of its quality and life expectancy to provide a realistic evaluation of its suitability for retention and long-term contribution to the local and wider landscape character.

A tree constraints plan: this is a site plan showing the constraints to development imposed by each tree if were retained. Above and below-ground spatial constraints are imposed by tree branches and root systems, as well as the protection measures they will require during construction activities.

Detailed/technical design (application and approval stage)

An arboricultural impact assessment: this assesses the probable impact of the site layout on the existing tree population. It is based on the siting and footprint of proposed buildings, roads, paths and new service runs and also considers the construction activities- demolition, storage of materials, machinery access and scaffolding requirements. The impact assessment may also include recommendations for mitigation and compensation where impacts are likely to be significant.

An arboricultural method statement: this details the protection and precautionary measures that will be taken, to successfully retain and integrate trees into the proposed development. The method statement provides reassurance to the authority and also informs the building contractors. The method statement, implemented under the supervision of an arboriculturist, is often conditioned when planning permission is granted.

A tree protection plan: this is a detailed plan showing the position and type of protective barriers to be used around retained trees, as well as any other measures detailed in the arboricultural method statement.

Example Tree Protection Plan (TPP)
Tree Protection Plan

Implementation and aftercare (construction stage)

Arboricultural site supervision: supervision of potentially damaging activities is increasingly required by planning authorities, as a condition of approval. We provide cost effective supervision, using this time to identify and rectify problems before they occur to ensure the building works proceed without interruption. We also collect the evidence required to formally discharge this condition on completion of the project.