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Arboricultural Impact Assessments and Tree Surveys

You’re all set to start planning your development, or maybe submit the planning application, when you’re told you need a tree survey. Who do you need to ask, and what is it you need from them?

The guiding document is the British Standard BS5837: 2012 – Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations. Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) will assess your tree survey against this – if it fails to meet the standard, you may find they refuse the application. The term ‘tree survey’ may be interpreted in many ways, and you need to know what is covered when comparing quotes, so you don’t get caught out going for the lowest quote, only to find out later you needed more information than you have paid for.

The British Standard sets out the process and information required to inform and support planning applications, and beyond when you reach the construction stage. In simple terms you will need the following:

1. Tree Survey, Schedule and Constraints Plan – this gives you your baseline information. You need to know what you have and how it may affect your plans for development. Ideally, you should get this information as early as possible to avoid delay and later design changes.

2. Arboricultural Impact Assessment (sometimes referred to as an Arboricultural Implications Assessment, AIA) – once you have produced your layout, this tells you how it will affect trees – which need to come out, which can stay and how they should be protected from harm. You may find you need to alter your layout if you find you can’t keep trees you want, or have to keep.

You need the above as a bare minimum for any planning application – the LPA wants to know what trees are there and how development will affect them. Many LPAs will also expect the following at the planning application stage, though sometimes these are requested under condition:

3. Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) – this provided details on what needs to be done at each stage of the development regarding trees, setting out when tree work must take place, what tree protection is required and when it must be installed, and how construction must be carried out to prevent further tree loss.

4. Tree Protection Plan – this shows the trees in relation to the development, identifying tree removals, the location of tree protection and areas of special construction – it supports and relates directly to the AMS.

Get in touch

At agb Environmental we can provide you with all the information you require at every stage of you application, and will make sure you know what you will receive. If you’ve been told you need a tree survey for your development, call Richard Parmee (Head of Natural Environment) on 01638 663226 (Newmarket Office) or email to see how we can help.

Arboriculture, News, Surveys