Need a tree survey in Blackpool?

If your development project will have an impact on trees, a tree survey is needed to decide on the next steps to take.

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If you need a tree survey in Blackpool, here’s what to think about

Increasing the number of trees in and around Blackpool is a priority, and any planning application for development that impacts trees will come under close scrutiny. Local authorities are likely to require a tree survey with any application for developing sites involving trees and it must be carried out by a professional arboricultural consultancy.

Stanley Park in Blackpool.

Blackpool and development

Situated on the northwest coast of Lancashire, Blackpool is, of course, a tourist hub, and it’s undergoing a multi-million-pound revitalisation scheme with development happening at a rapid pace.

Blackpool’s urban area includes towns such as Cleveleys, Little Singleton, Lytham St Annes, Poulton-le-Fylde, Staining, and Thornton and while urban areas dominate this landscape, countryside locations include Blackpool Model Village and Gardens.

Most of the tree population is found at Stanley Park and on the fringes of the borough: central Blackpool has very little tree cover and Blackpool Council wants to improve this: it aims to increase its tree population from 4% to 10% within Blackpool’s Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy 2019-2029.

Tree strategy

Blackpool Council’s Tree Strategy 2020-2030 aims to protect trees and create `a thriving urban forest to benefit the local community, wildlife and visitors.’ It states that increasing housing development has the potential to decrease tree cover further, and mitigation is needed to protect trees in categories A, B and C in the British Standard BS5837 tree survey, to ensure they are retained on sites and removed trees are replaced. The strategy views trees as critical infrastructure, giving them equal priority to infrastructure such as roads and services.

Tree surveys and planning permission

Any scheme that is likely to impact trees on or adjacent to a proposed development site will probably need a tree survey. Significant fines can be imposed if the strict rules surrounding trees and planning development applications are breached.

The local planning authority will be able to tell you whether a tree survey will be required as part of any application for planning permission. The proposed mitigating tree care measures detailed in the tree survey will be considered by your case officer. When applications are submitted without a tree survey when one is needed, the application may be refused, and time will be lost.

Protection for trees

The two main tree protections are Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and conservation area status, which are both governed by local authorities. Individual trees may be protected by a TPO, while groups of trees can be protected in conservation areas. It’s the responsibility of developers to check whether relevant trees on their proposed development site are subject to these restrictions: permission will be needed before any work takes place that disturbs protected trees.

Blackpool has 39 TPOs in place and 6 conservation areas that protect trees. Any application for planning permission in green, wooded areas is likely to need a tree survey to explain how trees will be managed in the scheme.

Contact the local planning authority or tree officer to find out if trees are subject to a TPO or stand in a conservation area. A felling licence from the Forestry Commission may be needed to fell trees not subject to Tree Preservation Orders: it is an offence not to obtain a licence if one is needed.

BS5837 tree surveys

The BS5837 tree survey is designed to assess the impact of a scheme on trees. A qualified arboricultural consultant will conduct a visual tree assessment to identify all tree species on the development site and calculate their condition. Trees will be graded into categories, ranging from category A for the highest quality specimens, to category U which applies to trees in poor condition or at the end of their lifespan.

The design, demolition and construction work plan for a site will be examined by the tree surveyor to see how it will affect trees. Tree surveyors will always aim to retain as many trees as possible: the survey will explain the optimal approach for each tree, identifying the high-quality trees and outlining a plan for compensating for the loss of low-quality trees. If trees must be felled or relocated new trees may be planted by way of compensation. The tree report will include an AutoCAD tree map and will also inform tree owners about any other tree inspections or ecological survey work required.

Further tree surveys

The wide range of more detailed tree reports includes tree protection plans, a tree constraints plan, a tree protection plan, an arboricultural impact assessment, an arboricultural method statement, arborical supervision, site monitoring and tree condition surveys.

Pre-purchase tree surveys and mortgage tree reports may be required by mortgage lenders or to provide evidence for insurance cover; surveyors inspect trees for health and safety risks to assess them for potential hazards. A tree survey report might also be needed for public liability purposes. A tree surveyor may also recommend a further ecology survey such as an inspection of wildlife habitats.

Do you need to arrange Lancashire tree surveys?

Identify an arboricultural consultancy with experience in conducting tree surveys for the relevant local authority. The firm must employ fully qualified arboricultural consultants who hold the correct licences and accreditations. They will be able to provide professional advice regarding any tree problems you may have along with general tree management services.

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