Information for anyone considering a new development near to trees.
We encourage pre-application discussions, so that any trees are considered at the earliest opportunity. Discussion at the outset is the key to good design and a smooth route through the planning process.
Our planning policy on trees
Our policy NE3 of the Rushmoor Local Plan explains our policies on trees and landscaping in Aldershot and Farnborough.
Communication with developers
We encourage developers to talk to us as much as possible. Good developers understand that keeping important trees can improve the appearance of their site and help to sell new buildings quickly.
We will not generally serve Tree Preservation Orders on prospective development sites as, in the past, this has been counterproductive, resulting in pre-emptive felling by developers. Our new approach should make sure that we can have open pre-application discussions that seek to retain only good trees.
Engaging a tree expert
To avoid a conflict with Policy NE3 of the Rushmoor Local Plan, we advise you to engage an arboricultural consultant at the outset to carry out a tree survey according to the recommendations of BS 5837:2012, 'Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction'. You can buy a copy from the BSI or from major book sellers.
A tree survey identifies trees worthy of retention. The survey will help you to understand the constraints of the site and plan the layout of the development.
The arboriculturist should then produce an arboricultural impact assessment to test the relationship between the chosen design and the retained trees, now and in the future. If development can be accommodated, the impact assessment should provide information on how to carry out the construction to minimise the impact on existing trees.
Trees are a material consideration for all types of development, whether it is a major development or a householder extension. We are keen to see important trees kept, and sensitively and sustainably positioned in the development.
Removing poor quality trees will allow the important trees more space to grow. It may also allow the site to accommodate new structural tree planting, sensitively located and with sufficient rooting volume to be sustainable.
Layouts for new developments should put important trees in communal spaces to maximise their amenity value and reduce any negative impact on householders.
Large canopy trees should be sensitively retained as they are important for climate change adaption and can add instant maturity and appeal to new residential developments.