Need a tree survey in Buckinghamshire?

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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Tree survey Buckinghamshire

If you have a development project, you will likely need a tree survey to support an application for planning permission. If you need a tree survey in Buckinghamshire, it’s important to engage a firm that employs fully qualified tree surveyors to guide you through the development process.

Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire.

Buckinghamshire and its countryside

One of the home counties, Buckinghamshire in south east England is known for its open countryside and features such as the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The draft vision for the 2040 Local Plan for Buckinghamshire prioritises protecting important landscapes including the Chiltern Hills from harmful development and maintaining the Green Belt boundary. Buckinghamshire Council wants to retain the rural character of the county, with its network of small towns and villages, and adapt to climate change through significant new tree planting and natural habitat creation.

However, new homes are needed, and the council wants to see sustainable communities being built with well-designed houses, alongside employment facilities and supporting infrastructure, all to high environmental standards in the most suitable locations to accommodate growth. Prioritising the development of brownfield sites, high-quality mixed-use developments are needed to revitalise town centres, alongside public transport improvements.

The Octagon Lake at Stowe Gardens.

Trees in Buckinghamshire

Notable tree sites include 220 hectare Burnham Beeches, famous for its ancient beech and oak pollards, while the landscaped garden at Stowe, managed by the National Trust, is home to the 800-year-old Ferry Oak and one of the best small leafed lime avenues containing hundreds of old and veteran trees. Common trees across the county include field elm, holm oak, horse chestnut and hybrid black poplar.

Protected trees

There are two main protections for trees: the Tree Preservation Order which applies to individual trees, and conservation area status which applies to groups of trees. Before any work is carried out that will impact protected trees, permission is needed from the local planning authority and non-compliance may result in significant fines. Information about carrying out work on the county’s trees can be found on the local authority’s tree page.

Tree surveys

The British Standard BS5837 survey is the first tree survey to be arranged. A tree surveyor will make a site visit and assess all trees on the site and in the surrounding area, and aim to retain the maximum number of trees present. Trees will be graded according to a universal mitigation hierarchy from Category A to Category U, and the best outcome for each tree will be established. Category A trees will need to be retained, while tree removal may be recommended for lower-quality trees if they impede plans.

A tree surveyor taking measurements.

Tree survey report

Details of all trees on and adjacent to the site will be provided in the written tree report which will include a CAD drawing that can support an application for planning permission. The report will also provide details of any further tree surveys or tree care work that may be required.

Further tree surveys

There is a range of specialised tree surveys that may be needed following the BS5837 tree survey for sites with specific tree issues, such as a tree constraints plan, an arboricultural impact assessment, an arboricultural method statement, and a tree protection plan. A tree owner may need a tree safety survey to investigate potential risk factors from a health and safety perspective, while house buyers may be asked by mortgage providers to submit a pre-purchase tree survey, and insurers may require mortgage tree reports.

Tree surveys in Buckinghamshire

To make sure that you engage the right firm, search for an arboricultural consultancy that is experienced in carrying out tree surveys for the relevant local planning authority.

Make sure that the firm employs qualified tree surveyors who hold the correct licences as they can provide expert advice which will help you gain planning consent. They will also offer guidance about any legal obligation attached to individual trees or trees in conservation areas which may affect plans relating to design, demolition and construction works.

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