With over 2,500 hectares of forests and woodlands, Telford & Wrekin places high value on its trees while also wanting to develop its economy sustainably.
If you are planning a development project that is likely to have an impact on trees on or adjacent to your site, you may well be asked to provide a tree survey by Telford & Wrekin Council.
The Borough of Telford & Wrekin
While the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan 2011-2031 encourages growth, with goals for new homes and jobs throughout the borough, protecting its many green spaces is also a priority.
The borough is located between Birmingham to the east and rural Shropshire and Wales to the west and covers an area of 290 sq. miles. Valued for the quality of its countryside and open spaces, the area includes significant landscape features such as Wrekin Hill in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Ironbridge Gorge area of the River Severn, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also eight Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) and several Local Nature Reserves and Local Wildlife Sites. The borough has over 500 Tree Preservation Orders, over 400 hectares of managed woodland, and over 15 million trees.
Telford & Wrekin Council requires an arboricultural impact assessment with all planning applications, including outline planning applications, where trees hedgerows, or woodland are affected. A Hedgerow Assessment in accordance with The Hedgerow Regulations (1997) will be needed when a scheme proposes hedgerow removal. The council expects trees and hedgerows with biodiversity value to be retained and protected: aged and veteran trees, ancient woodland, and important hedgerows will be safeguarded.
Proposals to fell or remove trees will normally be resisted unless acceptable mitigation or compensation measures can be secured. Loss or damage to irreplaceable habitats including ancient woodland or veteran trees will not be acceptable. Development must show that the proposed removal of trees is outweighed by the wider benefits of the scheme, and replacement planting should include primarily native species.
BS5837 tree surveys
If you need a tree survey, the first step is to arrange to have a BS5837 tree survey carried out. All trees on or adjacent to your site will be assessed and graded according to their ecological importance. Tree surveyors will complete a report that can be used by your design team, along with a CAD drawing. The tree survey will identify any high-quality trees on your site that need to be retained and give guidance on how to compensate for the loss of lower-quality trees.
This initial tree report may satisfy the local planning authority, or you may be asked to provide further arboricultural reports. These include Impact Assessment, Method Statement and Tree Protection plans, along with Arborical Supervision and Site Monitoring. It’s important to bear in mind that removing trees without planning permission can lead to criminal prosecution or heavy fines.
Other types of tree surveys:
A Tree Condition Survey
This tree survey addresses health and safety issues or tree health.
A Mortgage Tree Report
Sometimes a mortgage lender or insurer will require this tree survey, which assesses potential risk from trees in terms of health and safety.
Find a reputable arboricultural consultancy in Telford
If you need any tree surveys to accompany your planning application, it’s important to identify an arboricultural consultancy with experience in dealing with trees in your area, the type of tree report that you need, and the requirements of the local planning authority. Tree surveyors should be fully qualified and hold relevant licences and accreditations and the company should have good reviews.
A well-respected arboricultural consultancy will be able to provide expert advice on the tree surveys you need and produce reports containing all the important information required to help your planning application succeed.