Trees & Development

Our pragmatic approach focuses on trees as assets rather than development constraints, producing clear and considered design solutions. These are all carried out following the guidance of British Standards 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and development – Recommendations

Trees are a material planning consideration and can de-rail planning applications that have failed to properly account for them. Our consultants range of experience can often make the difference between success and failure, especially on sensitive or complex sites.

From pre-application discussions to the final discharge of conditions, we minimise delay by delivering what councils want in a format that is easy to process. We know time is money and understand that success depends on our ability to provide the right information to the right people, as quickly as possible. We have a reputation for coming up with practical and innovative solutions, evidenced by the project case studies below.

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Tree Constraints, Feasibility and Opportunities

BS5837:2012 is a set of recommendations and guidance that looks at tree retention or planting when proposed in conjunction with design, demolition or construction of a particular site. The objective should be to achieve a natural, harmonious relationship between trees and built structures and form, that can be sustained in the long-term.

Prior to the purchase of a site or offering a site for sale, we can provide an overview assessment of the arboricultural site constraints and opportunities. The Tree Constraints Plan is produced from the tree survey and will illustrate the root protection areas for each tree and the above ground constraints of a trees canopy. This information will then aid in forming a brief letter report.

This report and plan is created to be a design tool to help identify development potential. Understanding the complete constraints and opportunities of any site, whether it be arboricultural, ecological or topographical to name but a few elements, is critical in order to design and plan a successful proposal.

Arboricultural Impact Assessments

An Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) is a written tree report that considers all the direct and indirect impacts of a design proposal on trees within the development area. The assessment outlines those trees that need to be removed and those to be retained, highlighting any potential problems from a planning point of view. This assessment should accompany and be submitted at the same time as a planning application to the Council to meet with national and local validation criteria. The AIA will enable the council to make an informed and judged decision on the planning application.

Tree Protection Plans (TPP) and Arboricultural Method Statements (AMS)

A Tree Protection Plan (TPP) is a scaled detailed drawing that outlines what protective measures are to be carried out in relation to those trees being retained on a site during development. Whilst the TPP can be issued on its own, it often forms part of an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS).

AMS are often required by Local Planning Authorities prior to a decision notice being given, or as part of a Planning Condition to approved development application. The AMS demonstrates how trees will be safeguarded from damage during the construction phases and provides detail on working methodologies for installing a wide range of tree protection systems and measures.

As part of a method statement and to satisfy planning conditions, there is also often a requirement to monitor tree protection systems so that they remain effective throughout the duration of construction. Employing an arboriculturalist to oversee tree protection will reassure LPA’s that tree protection will be ensured.

Planting Schemes

New development often provides opportunities for new planting, which, if chosen wisely, will integrate successfully, and improve the overall balance of tree cover on a site. The introduction of young trees can help to ensure continuity of cover, provide screening, improve the diversity of species and add amenity value.

Our specialist knowledge of trees enables us to make the right choices for new planting which will enhance developments with immediate effect and long into the future. Our tree planting schemes are designed to complement existing stock, add interest and diversity and avoid tree related problems in the future.


Related case studies:

  • Stansgate Planning

  • Urban & Civic

  • BMD

“Barberry has always found the Wharton team to be knowledgeable and efficient in their input backed with a commercially realistic approach to the development process”
— M P Winters, Construction Director, Barberry Group Limited

The arboricultural team

Meet our experienced arboricultural team.

Jack Barnard    Arboricultural Consultant

Jack Barnard

Arboricultural Consultant

Sebastian Onslow    Senior Arboricultural Consultant

Sebastian Onslow

Senior Arboricultural Consultant