Split between a total of 42 districts, the City of Liverpool in North West England is the largest of all urban areas in the Merseyside county and the fourth largest city in the country. All cities face challenges with retaining natural assets and increasing the number of them to maintain the state of the environment, not helped by dwindling rural areas caused by continuous planning projects. Not only does Liverpool suffer from the same issues, but it has also been proven to fall short, a study from PLOS One highlighting it as the third least green city in the United Kingdom.
Across Liverpool is 696.6 hectares of countryside and countless trees that are commonly found within the 30 parks and open spaces. It also has a tree canopy cover of 16.2%, moving narrowly higher than the 16% national average. Despite meeting the average for tree cover, however, the local authorities intend to build on the number of trees across the city, with the Mersey Forest planting more than nine million trees so far and more planned for the future.
In addition to the planting of new trees, Liverpool City Council hold protections over certain trees, especially if they are perceived as valuable. For developers staging a proposed development where protected trees are present, a conflict can arise between them and the local council. From there, only a tree survey will be able to ease the qualms of the local planning authority enough to relinquish any control over the development and see them grant planning permission.
Planning Implications as a Result of Trees
With the sole purpose of preventing trees from suffering unnecessary and avoidable harm, local councils across England possess protections over them. Two common ways of doing this are through placing single trees under a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or grouping multiple trees into a conservation area. Although similar in the sense that they need prior consent from the council, Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) apply to individual trees while conservation areas can guarantee the safety of any number of trees within a set zone.
As well as possessing protections, trees offer a multitude of benefits, such as housing protected species of bats and red squirrels, and helping the environment by taking in carbon dioxide and letting out oxygen. The potential for trees on the development site may not rank highly among the priority concerns with your planning project, but as they can cause a number of problems, it is important to integrate them and the corresponding arboricultural services into your plans.
A form of quantified tree risk assessment, tree surveys are used as a way of enabling an arboricultural surveyor to form an understanding of the development and consider the potential overlap between trees and any issues that they could cause to the project. Once all of the necessary information has been retrieved and the arboriculturist has coordinated suitable steps forward, arboricultural reports can be created, and with it, the developer can pass them on to the local planning authority to help pass planning conditions.
The Tree Surveying Process
Multiple British standard tree surveys can be undertaken during a site visit, but more often than not, a BS5837 tree survey will emerge as the best option. Under a predetermined grading structure, the tree condition and value of each tree on or in close proximity to the development site will be evaluated along with other relevant factors such as amenity value and root growth. From their findings, the arboricultural consultant will decide whether trees will be retained, relocated or destroyed, partly dictated by the plans of the project.
It will always be the priority outcome to retain as many trees as possible, but if they are set to hinder the development and the plans cannot be tweaked to accommodate, the affected trees will be moved elsewhere inside or outside of the site. Alternatively, if trees are in poor condition and could raise tree safety issues, they will need to be destroyed and compensated for with the planting of new trees. Upon completion, the tree surveyor will create tree reports that will include all required information, such as mitigation measures for impacted trees within a detailed and annotated Tree Constraints Plan (TCP) drawing.
A tree survey report from a BS5837 tree assessment should offer the requested impartial advice and address all potential issues concerning indirect or direct damage related to trees. If the local planning authority ask for further information such as Tree Protection Plans (TPPs), however, the tree surveyor can provide tree surveys to satisfy other demands. For instance, as well as a Tree Protection Plan (TPP), stage two of the tree survey process will enable an arboriculturist to produce an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) and an Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA).
Each arboricultural survey will conclude with the creation of a tree report, and as it will contain all of the information that the local council will be seeking in order to accept that all demands have been met, once it is passed on to them, it will remove any remaining concerns relating to trees and give the planning officer every reason to grant planning applications.
Get Referred to an Arboricultural Consultancy
During our tenure as land and property experts, we have grown connections with countless people, ranging from private individual developers carrying out remedial works to mortgage providers that have needed assistance for mortgage purposes. We have also worked with a business that undertakes arboricultural consultant services.
Focusing primarily on tree surveying, the company we are close with has a proven track record for a high standard service, practical experience of conducting tree surveys and the suitable level of professional indemnity and public liability insurance. Situated all over the country, they can provide Liverpool tree surveys and tree services to other parts of North West England upon request.
All they need to get started are the details of your development site and planning project. You can do this by getting in touch with us via our quote form at the top of this page or by visiting our contact page. Simply give us as much information as possible, and from there, we can send across a free quote for tree surveys on your site. We can then arrange a suitable date for an arboricultural surveyor to undertake the assessment and ensure that your tree report has all of the components needed to bolster planning applications.