Protecting Trees During Development Work Is Important

Housing, or rather the lack of housing, is proving to be a big issue in the UK. Increasing demand and dwindling supply has led to something of a housing crisis, and it has become clear that more houses need to be built in order to meet this demand.

But it is rather more complex than simply building a few houses here and there. Development sites need to be carefully assessed, there is a strict consultation process with local councils, agencies and communities and all plans need to be approved before the building work can begin. Protecting trees during development work is important.

Getting to the root of the issue

This is good news for the environment. Protecting our green belt is important, and there are certain areas of land which are exempt from building works.

The correct area needs to be identified and the impacts on local wildlife and habitats will be taken into account when the plans are in the consultation process. Trees are a big part of this assessment process, with the preservation of them a big part of the consideration. Many developers also promise to plant trees on their sites.

However, trees are tricky. Unlike flowers or plants, which tend to grow in a fairly contained manner. Tree roots can play havoc with drainage systems or even grow under the foundations of a building, causing all kinds of problems for tenants.

When considering the development proposals, the local planning authority has a responsibility to consider the welfare of existing trees and the impact the development would have upon them. They are obliged to commission a tree survey in order to establish the possible outcomes. Organisations such as Middlemarch will carry out the tree survey and assess a variety of factors. This is designed to allow the development to work around the trees, retaining the most valuable ones and avoiding any conflict.

The company will usually also investigate if any of the trees have a Tree Preservation Order or examine if the site is in a conservation area. If either of these are the case it could have serious implications for the future of the development.

Tree safety is another key aspect of the examination. Nobody wants a tree falling on a brand new house. The investigation can look at how safe the existing trees are and any other potential impacts.

The final decision

The investigating company will make their report to the local planning authority, who will use it (along with a number of other reports) to shape their deliberations over whether to grant development permission.

Environmental factors play a huge part in the decision-making process, with developments which have the least environmental impact (and the biggest benefits) more likely to be able to go ahead in their initial formats. Once the surveys have been received and examined, the authority may return to the developer and ask for some amendments to be made to address any issues raised in the reports.