Tree advice for developers and architects

Existing trees of good quality and value can greatly enhance new development in a number of ways. They can screen and soften the appearance of new buildings, reducing their visual impact and provide an immediate established appearance with mature landscaping. Existing mature trees can add significantly to the monetary value of new development.

Arboricultural consultants

Consultants will be able to advise you on all aspects of trees in relation to construction and the planning system. The Arboricultural Association publishes a directory of approved contractors and consultants (professional and insured). Alternatively, visit our page on employing tree experts and tree work surgeons to find a competent tree expert.

Trees and the planning system

The following table (Annex B of BS:5837 2012) provides advice to both developers and householders on the appropriate amount of information to provide with your planning application for development (subject to circumstances).

Information relating to trees to provide with your planning application for development
   Annex B of BS:5837 2012  
 Stage of process  Minimum detail  Additional detail
 Pre-application  A BS 5837 Tree Survey Tree retention/removal plan (draft)
 Planning application
  • Tree Survey (in the absence of pre- application discussions)
  • Tree retention/removal plan (finalised)
  • Retained trees and Root Protection Areas (RPA) shown on proposed layout
  • Strategic hard and soft landscape design, including species and location of new tree planting.
  • Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIM)
  • Existing and proposed finished levels
  • Tree protection plan (TPP)
  • Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS)
  • Details of all special engineering with the RPA and other relevant construction details
 Reserved matters and planning conditions
  • Alignment of underground utilities
  • Dimensioned tree protection plan
  • Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS)
  • Schedule of works to retained trees
  • Detailed hard and soft landscaping scheme
  • Arboricultural site monitoring schedule
  • Tree and landscape management plan
  • Landscape maintenance schedule

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