Arboriculture focuses on the management and maintenance of individual trees. Trees are an important asset that need to be managed in order to improve safety and enhance the value of land as well as improve the overall appearance of a site. You will already be aware of the positive contribution that trees make to the wider landscape, whether visually, ecologically, culturally, financially or a combination of all these elements.
Trees provide an important amenity value and our advisory service is designed to offer professional guidance on how to manage and preserve the landscape and environment in which we all live and work. We provide innovative solutions to both simple and complex issues in this area.
Trees & Development
Trees are fully recognised as a material consideration within the planning process. Most local planning authorities will include a statement within the local plan acknowledging the importance of trees in the wider environment.
The local plan also provides details on what the local authority expects to see in relation to trees within a planning application. In most cases where trees are sufficiently important to the amenity of a location, the development proposal will need to demonstrate that trees have been considered and had an influence on the design process. Detailed guidance on this process is provided within BS5837 (2012): ‘Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – recommendations’. The planning authority will usually expect to see that professional advice has been obtained for the management of trees on a development site, and that this advice is in compliance with the guidelines provided in BS5837.
If you require technical input and advice on this area, we can help you ensure that you meet the requirements of the local authority. Our full range of services can support you through all the stages of your planning application.
Tree Risk Management
When a tree falls, there is the potential for three outcomes:
- Damage to property;
- Damage to people;
In order to avoid these outcomes, landowners need to show that they have a defendable tree risk management system in place. This means that the owner of the tree must show:
- A clear audit trail – This provides the defence against any claim
- A tree risk assessment – This requires an identification of any hazard and an assessment of the risk
- A management system is in place – This details what actions will be taken to reduce the risk and remove the hazard.
We can help provide you with a wide range of tree safety advice, from a basic inspection and summary report to a full tree risk management policy that provides an auditable trail and detail on the long-term management of hazardous trees. Our advice is designed to adhere to industry best practice, HSE Guidance, and with the guidance provided by the National Tree Safety Group publication, ‘Common Sense Risk Management of Trees’ (2012).
Trees & the Law
There are three levels of protection afforded to trees in England:
- Tree Preservation Order (TPO) – Trees that are subject to a TPO will require permission from the Local Planning Authority (LPA) prior to undertaking any works.
- Conservation area – Trees located within a conservation area will require notification to the LPA stating the intent to remove trees.
- Felling licence – The Forestry Act requires a felling licence be obtained for the removal of a large volume of trees growing outside of a garden or other defined areas. The licence can be obtained from the Forestry Commission and applies to those intended to fell more than 5 cubic metres of timber in any single calendar quarter.
We can assist you with providing assessments on trees that require work, but are covered by one of the above forms of protection. Where a tree has been made subject to a TPO we can assist in reviewing the reasons why and help in submitting an objection to the local authority if there are grounds for such an action.
With a blended mix of technical experience and academic knowledge, we are able to provide advice across a wide spectrum, from challenging TPO decisions to planning appeals.