Need a tree survey in Warrington?

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Tree survey Warrington

Development plans that involve trees are likely to need a tree survey when it comes to applying to a local council for planning permission. While commercial and residential development is planned for Warrington, trees and other ecological features are given high priority by the local authority. Tree surveys will clarify how trees will be managed on a development site.

An aerial view of the Howley Wier on the River Mersey in Warrington.

Warrington in the north west

Development

Warrington, the most northerly of the local authorities in the Cheshire area, shares boundaries with Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East. It has developed over the years thanks to its position as a regional motorway hub: it was designated as a New Town in 1968 and rapid expansion followed.

Since then, efforts have been underway to regenerate the older town centre and maintain the identity of the countryside and smaller settlements. Today, the Warrington area is home to major national and international companies with strengths in the nuclear sector, engineering and logistics, making it a significant centre for employment in the north west.

The Warrington Local Plan aims to manage growth beyond the urban area, however, the supply of brownfield land is reducing and the green belt separates it from neighbouring towns and cities. The council must identify areas for development to reinvigorate the town and achieve a sustainable level of growth across the borough. The Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership identifies Warrington as a priority area for growth in its Strategic Economic Plan, with the town centre targeted as an area for urban living, working and leisure.

Environment

The Warrington area includes sites of international, national and local importance for biodiversity which must be protected and enhanced. The local council aims to improve links between them via a Green Infrastructure Network.

Strategic green links include the Mersey Valley Corridor with its mix of river valley habitats and wetlands: one of the largest estuaries in Europe, it supports large numbers of internationally important birds. The Sankey Valley Linear Park is home to important flora and fauna, and there are 55 Local Wildlife Sites, 4 Local Nature Reserves, 4 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 3 Special Areas of Conservation and 16 conservation areas. The town is built on the flood plain of the River Mersey, at the head of its tidal estuary, putting it at risk of flooding.

Vision

The Local Plan aims to oversee new homes, jobs and businesses supported by improvements to infrastructure: new employment areas must be developed, and new housing must be sustainable and well-designed. The town centre will be regenerated, new parks will be created, and tree preservation is important.

New developments will be directed to the Mersey Valley through the centre of town and the Ship Canal, which provides an attractive setting for new development at the Warrington waterfront.

Tree surveys and the planning system

All planning applications that impact trees on, or in close proximity, to the site will need a tree survey, which will recommend the best course of action. The tree report should satisfy the local planning authority that an acceptable tree management plan is proposed, allowing it to grant permission.

If a planning application is submitted without a tree survey when the local authority requires one, there is a risk of delay or even a refusal.

Tree preservation

Tree preservation orders can protect individual trees, and conservation areas can protect a group of trees. Damaging or destroying trees subject to tree preservation orders or conservation area protection can result in significant fines or even prosecution.

Arboricultural consultants carry out a tree survey.

Tree surveys

BS5837 tree surveys

The British Standard BS5837 tree survey is the first survey to be arranged. Arboricultural consultants will assess all trees on the proposed development site and surrounding trees. Each tree will be graded into categories A, B, C or U according to their condition, size and ecological importance. During the tree survey, arboricultural consultants will examine the root protection area around a tree to calculate how it would be affected by the proposals.

The highest quality trees in Category A need to be retained; if they prove an unresolvable obstacle to the development plans, they could be relocated. Trees in Category U may be dangerous, dying, or dead and may be destroyed, especially if they present a health and safety risk. New tree planting may be recommended in compensation. The tree survey will include an AutoCAD drawing showing all trees present. If further tree surveys are needed, the tree surveyor will provide details.

Further tree surveys

Depending on a site’s characteristics, further tree surveys may be required. These include tree safety surveys, a tree constraints plan, tree protection plans, a risk assessment, arborical supervision, an arboricultural method statement, or an arboricultural impact assessment.

Tree owners may also need to investigate subsidence risk, or to satisfy health and safety concerns regarding trees. House buyers may need to provide their mortgage lender with a mortgage tree report before their application can be approved. An ecological survey might be needed if important habitats or species protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are identified on the site.

Do you need local tree surveys in Warrington?

To ensure you’ll get expert advice, it’s important to engage an arboricultural consultancy that employs fully qualified tree consultants with the correct licences. The arboricultural consultants should also be able to provide tree surveys in Warrington to support planning applications to the local authority.

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