Tree Reports for Construction Sites
Many Local Planning Authorities (LPA) will ask for a tree or arboricultural report to be obtained by a property developer before they will grant planning permission for a construction project. Sometime the LPA will grant planning permission without such a report, and then ask for one as a planning condition. There is a British Standard which makes recommendations for the execution of the surveys that would result in this type of report. It also sets out protection measures for the trees and suggests some construction methods that should be used in some of the more problematic area. This standard is BS5837:2012.
As arboricultural report providers, we place these recommendations within our reports in a format that the LPAs both like and understand, but we also endeavour to provide reports that can be understood and used by building contractors as well. There are four elements to a BS5837 report, they are as follows:
· An arboricultural impact assessment. This helps us to understand what impact a particular construction project will have on the surrounding trees. These trees may be on the site in question, or in surrounding areas. It also helps us to understand what impact the trees may have on the new development, and gives the architects a good idea of any relevant adjustments that they might need to make to the plans.
· An arboricultural method statement. This part of the report, once approved by the LPA, is used to outline all of the tree protection methods including any phasing that may be required. It should be made available to all site staff so that none of the measures are accidentally breached during construction.
· A tree constraints plan. This is a drawing which shows all of the significant features on the site before any demolition or construction begins. The trees are all plotted accurately to show the true crown spread, root protection areas, and condition categories, as well as the tree ID numbers. This is purely a reflection of what we find on the site at the time of the survey, and in no way take the construction proposals into account.
· A tree protection plan. This drawing shows the proposed development along with the trees that are to be retained, and all of the recommended protection measures. Once this has been approved by the LPA it would require further permission from them to change it. This also applies to the specification of the protection measures.