BS5837 Tree surveys relating to trees and planning permission

BS5837:2012-Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction-Recommendations.

Where trees grow in proximity to proposed development the Local Planning Authority (LPA) will often require the provision of a BS5837 tree survey.

Usherwood Arboriculture recommend that trees are considered early in the design process and we are happy to offer a comprehensive pre-application advice service. Engaging with Local Authority officers we are able to deal with all issues regarding trees and planning.

A complete BS5837 tree report generally consists of the following elements-  

  • Tree survey
  • Tree Constraints plan (TCP)
  • Arboricultural Impact assessment (AIA)
  • Arboricultural method statement (AMS)
  • Tree Protection Plan (TPP)

Trees and Development

A Local Planning Authority (LPA) has a statutory duty to consider the protection of existing trees and planting of new trees when considering planning applications. For this reason you may be required to provide a tree survey to accompany your planning application particularly where your proposal may have an impact on trees either within the site itself or near to the location of your proposed development.

Your local council should be able to provide pre-application advice and be able to tell you what level of detail they expect you to submit.

BS5837 Tree Surveys

The LPA will normally require that any tree information you submit is set out in accordance with BS5837-

What is a BS5837 Tree Survey?

British Standard 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction- Recommendations provides guidance for the evaluation, integration and protection of trees both within and close to a planned development, whether that development be a single storey side extension or a new housing estate the approach remains the same.

At Usherwood Arboriculture we understand the need to provide a fast and efficient service for home owners, architects, developers and anyone wishing to obtain planning permission where trees are present.

Usherwood Arboriculture offer pre-planning advice and will put together a tailored strategy that will help retain valued trees within your proposals or projects

Trees and the Law

Tree Preservation Orders

Local Planning Authorities are responsible for the making and administration of tree preservation orders (TPO’s). If you are the owner of a protected tree you are required by law to apply to the Council prior to carrying out any works.

Usherwood Arboriculture will provide pre-application advice and using the local government planning portal apply for works on your behalf. This is helpful where the nature of the tree application requires the addition of a technical report.

The Council will normally inform you of their decision within eight weeks of receiving your tree application.

Usherwood Arboriculture are independent consultants and not tree surgeons, therefore our advice is impartial. However, at your request we can arrange for experienced, qualified and insured tree surgery contractors to quote for and carry out consented works.

​Conservation Areas

If you wish to carry out works to trees within a conservation area you are legally required to provide the Council with six weeks’ written notice, commonly known as a section 211 notice.

The notice gives the Council time in which to consider the impact of the proposed works on the tree itself as well as the wider landscape and may if they believe it is necessary protect the subject trees with a tree preservation order (TPO).

It is an offence to carry out any works to trees either subject to a tree preservation order or within a conservation area.

High Hedges and Common Law Rights etc.

Usherwood Arboriculture can also advise on a range of issues including High Hedges & the law, the nuisance caused by overhanging branches, encroaching roots and your common law rights to abate nuisance.

Tree hazard assessments and reports

The importance of retaining trees in the landscape is undeniable for many reasons, but with storm events becoming more frequent and intense in nature we are seeing a rise in the number of instances of structural failure of trees. Some may fail completely whilst others may experience partial collapse or the loss of major branches and whilst we accept it is not possible to foresee the likelihood of every tree failure, a timely inspection by a competent arboriculturalist will ensure that your tree stock is in the best position to withstand such events. 

Home owners and those responsible for land and premises management such as schools and other public places where trees and people may be present have a duty to ensure that those trees in their care do not cause foreseeable harm either to people or property.

Whether you own a single garden tree or woodland, Usherwood Arboriculture offer a range of services. For larger tree populations a target led approach allows us to focus on the trees that matter providing concise and cost-effective solutions. Sites are zoned according to their usage ensuring that resources are directed where they are most needed.

Mortgage and insurance reports

Usherwood Arboriculture are able to provide specific tree reports for the purposes of obtaining a mortgage or for the provision of information often required by a buildings insurer prior to offering cover. A number of issues are considered including soil type, tree species, maturity and condition as well as distances from buildings and built structures.