Building near existing trees

Local authorities have a statutory duty to consider the protection and planting of trees when granting planning permission for proposed development. Trees are considered as part of the planning process regardless of whether or not they are protected (by Tree Preservation Order or Conservation Order) or not.

Permission must be sought under TPO legislation for any Permitted Development scheme that may affect protected trees, which includes their root systems.

If you want to build near a tree you will need to provide certain information in line with the British Standard – BS 5837:2012 ‘Trees in relation to design, demolition, and construction – Recommendations’ to support your application. Without this information your application is likely to be invalidated or refused.

We encourage you to seek professional advice from arboricultural consultants who will provide the necessary information and reports in line with the British Standard and the Council’s own requirements.

Planning validation checklist

Where there are trees within the application site, or on land adjacent to it that could influence or be affected by the development (including street trees), further information may be required.  You will need to specify which trees are to be retained and the means of protecting these trees during construction works.

For applications where trees might be affected, the application may need to be accompanied by the following information:

  • tree survey including root protection areas (RPAs)

  • tree retention/removal plan

  • tree protection plan

  • details of retained trees with RPA’s on the proposed layout

  • arboricultural impact assessment

Depending on the site you may also be required to submit some or all of the following:

  • details of existing and proposed finished levels

  • arboricultural method statement

  • details for any proposed development activities and/or specialist engineering within RPAs

  • a strategic hard and soft landscape design including species and locations of new planting

This information should be prepared by a person, who has through relevant education, training and experience, gained expertise in the field of trees in relation to construction.

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