Despite reigning as the largest urban area in the United Kingdom and the biggest city in Europe, London is full of trees. So much so, in fact, that London falls into the United Nations‘ definition of a forest due to the criteria being classed as ‘anywhere that’s at least 20% trees’. It currently has a tree canopy cover of 21%, surpassing the national average of 16%, and with so many trees present, it even has its own forestry conservator for controlling and managing native trees.
Other cities in England such as Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds have grown in recent times in numerous ways, but between Greater London and the City of London, the London area remains the country’s hub and a hive of industry. That said, even with more than 880,000 trees located across London, the local council intend on continuing to grow tree numbers, aiming to reach a further 10% increase of trees by the year 2050.
Alongside efforts to increase tree numbers, the local authorities are also generally required to safeguard retained trees, especially trees that hold value and are proven to be currently in good physical condition, both in terms of benefitting the local environment and preventing health and safety issues. Any time trees are present on the site of a planned development, a tree survey will be needed before any intervention can go ahead.
The Role of Trees in Planning Obstructions
Applicable throughout the country, protections are in place to prevent trees from facing unnecessary harm. The two main methods of protecting trees are by placing single trees under a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or classing a set of trees within a listed conservation area. Both are similar in the sense that they require prior consent from the local council before trees protected by either framework are disrupted, except the key difference that Tree Preservation Orders typically affect individual trees whereas conservation areas apply to groups of trees within specific zones.
From the many factors involved in a new development, trees may not feature as one of the top priorities. Sadly, however, they can pose a full range of issues, such as restrictions from each local authority over protected trees and potential risks if dangerous trees in close proximity to the site aren’t fully inspected for safety purposes. Trees help the environment by producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, and they are also home to certain protected species such as bats and red squirrels, giving local councils a particular incentive to shield them from harm.
During a tree condition survey, a tree surveyor is given an opportunity to cross-reference the specific requirements of the proposed development alongside current tree constraints and potential problems caused by trees and other vegetation. Using that information, they can then move on to providing information about present and surrounding trees as an expert witness with extensive experience before creating an arboricultural report to provide advice and assist on planning applications.
Survey on Trees Throughout London
Although there are several tree surveys for planning, in most cases, a BS5837 tree survey will be the most suitable course of action for inspecting nearby trees and making informed decisions on all trees inspected.
A British standard assessment, BS5837 tree inspections allow for professional tree surveyors to conduct a visual tree assessment in relation to design, demolition and construction work before putting together a detailed report to outline the physiological and structural condition of existing trees, management recommendations to heighten tree retention and root development, and next steps to support the planning process.
Each tree will be given a grading to establish condition and value, and it will then go on to determine the necessary work carried out. Retention will always rank as the top priority outcome, but if they are going to suffer or cause direct or indirect damage to the development project, they will either be relocated elsewhere on or off the site if they are in good condition or be destroyed and compensated for with the planting of new trees if they aren’t.
As the last part of the tree survey process, the tree consultant will create a tree report to explain how the development can move forwards. Tree reports will include a site plan, images and commentary to delineate the organised tree protection plan designed to protect trees on the site and highlight present tree health, and instructions for the necessary tree works for each tree removed, relocated or retained.
The detailed reports contain all information needed to support the planning application, and as such, the local planning authority should see no issue granting planning permission.
High Standard Tree Work at a Reasonable Price
For residential and commercial clients to capitalise from tree surveying, it would be ideal to work with a highly recommended, extremely efficient and massively knowledgeable team of tree consultants with many years of experience working with developers to carry out a wide range of tree surveys. That way, tree problems impacting developments and applications for planning consent can be placed in safe hands.
With an understanding of tree roots and root protection areas, the various different types of tree species by scientific name, the necessary equipment such as tree motion sensors, and each survey carried out for trees such as an Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA), an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS), a mortgage tree report, an air spade and soil decompaction, aerial inspection and site monitoring, a tree surveyor needs an extensive range of skills to provide a professional service.
In our time, we have worked with home buyers, mortgage lenders, planning consultants, project managers, property owners, tree owners and other professionals, including a dedicated team of arboricultural consultants that offer a good service and the utmost duty of care.
After tens of thousands of examples of conducting a fantastic job and amazing service for commercial and residential clients, we can happily recommend a great team of effective and friendly staff that clients choose to produce expert tree care and avoid delays.
Receive a Tree Survey Quote Today
Whether you require tree surveys as part of a mortgage application, planning application, for insurance purposes or other reasons, get in touch and we can point you in the direction of a friendly team that can provide you with a hassle-free detailed quote and undertake an excellent job on trees and overhanging branches.
Alternatively, if you need other arboricultural or ecology surveys such as protected species surveys or an ecological survey on invasive weeds, for example, we can source the professionals with a legal duty to conduct a great service.
For a free quote on a tree survey in London, simply visit our contact page, provide detailed information including your name, email address and telephone number, and explain that you need an accurate quote for a tree inspection. That allows us to refer you to a tree survey team that offer great work and an extremely cost-effective service.
As well as a fantastic experience and great care to ensure a safe condition of working, the tree surveys will also prompt a comprehensive tree report that can be passed on to the local planning authorities to remove any obstacles that would otherwise harm your application for a planning condition on the site.