Trees & Development

All trees are a material consideration in the UK planning system. Local Planning Authorities (LPA’s) have a statutory duty to consider the protection and planting of trees when granting permission for proposed developments.

If you are applying for planning permission to develop a site with existing trees on or adjacent to it, your Local Planning Authority will require an Arboricultural Report, submitted with your application. 

The Arboricultural Report must conform to the British Standard 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations. Commonly referred to as BS5837.

Whether an extension or estate, call TreeWorks to discuss how we can help you.

The BS5837 Report Process

1 Topographical survey

Topographical surveys identify and map the contours of the ground and existing features on the proposed development site; such as trees, buildings, streets, walkways, manholes, utility poles, retaining walls, etc. 

Topographical surveys are essential for large scale developments but are not always necessary for smaller projects.

2 Tree survey & Tree categorization

A tree survey should be undertaken by an arboriculturist to record information about the trees on or adjacent to a site. Each tree is also categorised for their quality and suitability for incorporation into the development. The survey results are used to inform feasibility studies and site design options. For these reasons, the tree survey should be completed before specific plans are drawn.

Tree Survey Schedule

3 Tree Constraints Plan (TCP)

The tree survey and categorisation enable the production of the TCP. This scaled drawing shows the development site constraints imposed by each surveyed tree. Trees pose above and below-ground constraints that can reduce the developable area of a site. Below ground constraints are represented by the recommended Root Protection Area (RPA), above ground constraints are represented by a tree’s mature branch spread. The daily shadow pattern is also shown, as it is an important consideration. 

The TCP is an invaluable design tool when designing any development project. 

Tree Constraints Plan (TCP)

4 Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA)

The AIA provides a detailed evaluation of the direct and indirect impacts of the proposed development on the existing trees. It also evaluates the impacts the retained trees may have on the finished development, currently and in the future. Where necessary we state measures and make recommendations to reduce or mitigate the impacts.

Generally, the lower the development impact the more favourably planning applications are considered by Planning Officers.

5 Tree Protection Plan (TPP) 

The TPP is a scaled drawing detailing the following elements: 

  • the final design proposal
  • trees to be removed
  • trees to be retained and their protection
  • tree management work
  • new planting and landscaping, if relevant 

Tree Protection Plan (TPP)

6 The BS 5837 Report

The finished report presents all the above information in one document that accompanies your planning application. 

The report also includes detailed Arboricultural Method Statements (AMS) providing very specific tree protection measures and procedures.

The BS 5837 Report

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TreeWorks (West Wales) Ltd
Broad Haven Road
Tiers Cross
Pembrokeshire SA62 3BZ


Tel: 01437 899888


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