Trees and Development

Within the built environment trees are an essential component of the wider green infrastructure, providing attractive features which promote a sense of character and maturity to a site. The National Planning Policy Framework requires local authorities to create, protect and enhance networks of green infrastructure, and local planning policies usually require retention and/or enhancement of trees across sites.


When sites are designed carefully, retained trees can add financial value to a development.

Trees can impose constraints to development opportunities, and it is essential that these are identified at an early stage to inform the design process. We undertake tree surveys to a high standard in accordance with BS5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations from which constraints posed by trees are expressed in plan format.

We recognise that tree removal is frequently required to facilitate development, and we provide initial retention / removal advice based on the condition, quality and value of trees, and the likely constraints that their retention would impose. From the baseline tree survey we advise clients how to optimise a site’s realistic prospects from an arboricultural perspective, and provide supporting documentation with planning applications as required.

All plans are prepared in autoCAD format and as such are transferable to other members of the design team.

We have a large client base for this work, with past clients including large national house builders through to small domestic developments, and local planning authorities. Notable clients that have instructed us to assist in planning matters include: The Royal Household, Guards Polo Club, Parliamentary Estates, Zoological Society of London (Whipsnade Zoo and London Zoo), Stowe School, Coventry Cathedral, Willmott Dixon, Crest Nicholson, Mansells, Redrow Homes, Clancy Group, Sir Robert McAlpine, Fusion Residential, Octagon Developments, and several local planning authorities.

Typically, we provide the following services in relation to the planning process:
  • Preliminary pre-purchase tree constraints advice on sites under consideration for development
  • Tree surveys to BS 5837:2012, including a Tree Constraints Plan in order to inform layout design
  • Design reviews and assistance with site layout planning in relation to trees
  • Arboricultural Impact Assessments and Arboricultural Method Statements
  • Site supervision during the construction process
  • Representation at planning appeals, with experience at all appeal formats.