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Tree Survey or Arboricultural Statement

Published: 2020-01-28 Updated: 2023-01-31 Subject: Planning checklist

Planning application - local requirement

When the requirement applies

You will need a tree survey or arboricultural statement if your development has an impact on any tree with a trunk diameter of over 75mm (as measured 1.5m above ground level) on, or adjacent to, the site.

What the survey and statement should include

There is a formal British Standard which covers how to prepare a tree survey. The Arboricultural Impact Assessment and Method Statement should be prepared following the guidance and recommendations within British Standard 5837, 2012 - Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction - Recommendations, or any standard which supersedes it. Please see the document below (which is reproduced with permission for use in preparing planning applications only), for full details.

The requirements are slightly different for Full planning applications and Householder applications, as follows:

Full planning applications

  • A tree survey
  • An arboricultural impact assessment and tree retention and removal plan
  • Any pre-development tree surgery works
  • Arboricultural method statement (heads of terms) with indicative tree protection plan for retained trees showing the location of any physical barriers and where any arboricultural supervision will be required
  • Existing and proposed finished levels; proposed location of underground services any special engineering or other relevant construction details within the root protection areas
  • Soft landscape design, including species and location of compensatory planting to mitigate for any removed trees
  • The tree survey, arboricultural impact assessment and arboricultural method statement should be prepared by a suitably qualified arboriculturist who has gained expertise in the field of trees in relation to construction

Householder applications

  • Scaled plan accurately positioning the trunks of trees that could influence or be affected by the development (including works such as site access, service routes and site compounds), identified with a reference number (such as T1, T2) and species listed by common name, their stem diameter when measured at 1.5 metres above ground, and whether they are to be removed or retained
  • Any pre-development tree surgery works
  • Compensatory planting for any removed trees

If any of the trees are covered by a Tree Preservation Order or are within a conservation area, then the level of requirements for a Full planning application will apply.

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