Development & Trees: Key Issues

If you are submitting a planning application for work that needs to be carried out on a Tree(s) or are looking to develop an area that has trees which may be affected by your work it is really important to provide the correct information required to support your planning application. To avoid unnecessary costs and delays read here, about the information you need to submit and how biT can help you.

An Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) is required with all planning applications, including outline planning applications, where trees, hedgerows or woodlands are either present on the proposal site or are in close proximity to it and are likely to influence or be affected by the proposed work. This can be anything from a householder extension up to a residential development or commercial unit.

An Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) is a written assessment which determines the site specific effect of a planned development on the existing tree stock.

It is a recommendation of the British Standard 5837: 2012 "Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction - Recommendations", that an Arboricultural Impact Assessment is produced in order to inform the development process.

The Arboricultural Impact Assessment identifies trees to be removed and those to be retained and it highlights the potential conflicts between retained trees and the planned development. Typical conflicts between trees and developments can range from crown shading issues of a tree, to a planned development breaching a trees’ Root Protection Area (RPA).

Additionally, The Arboricultural Impact Assessment also considers the impact of statutory designations such as Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s), and identifies the long term value and benefits of trees in the urban and built environment. You can find out if a tree(s) is within a Conservation Area or covered by a TPO by searching our online mapping service at: https://secure.telford.gov.uk/planningsearch/

AIA’s should contain the following information:

  • A Tree Survey;
  • Tree Root Protection Zones (these should be clearly marked on a scale plan, plotted against the proposed layout so that any potential conflicts can be established at the earliest stage);
  • Likely alteration to site levels;
  • Likely changes to surfacing;
  • Likely locations for the layout of services;
  • Demolition of existing buildings and removal of hardstanding;
  • Exposure due to tree and structure removal;
  • Sunlight and shading;
  • Likely site access and layout during construction;
  • Allocation of a suitable area for plant and material storage;
  • Fruit production (littering footpaths);
  • Initial suggestions for additional/replacement tree planting;
  • Birds, bats and other fauna (are further ecology/specialist surveys likely to be required?)

AIA’s apply to all applications where trees are involved and not just trees within a Conservation Area or covered by a TPO.

biT offer pre-application advice which can be sought prior to submitting any type of planning application. Our standard consultees are involved and this includes our Tree and Woodland Officers. They will confirm what reports or plans are required to be submitted at the formal application stage which has proven to be time and money saving for our clients.

For more information please contact biT on 01952 380 039 or by e-mailing planning@bit-group.co.uk