Find out more about our sister guide - The Specification
Manual to support your Building Regulations application.
Monthly News letters for our
<< Planning Permission Tips
TREES - HOW THEY CAN
AFFECT YOUR DEVELOPMENT PLAN.
Like most folk, I believe that more can be achieved in life by open
and transparent negotiation - laying ones cards on the table for a reciprocal
arrangement and courtesy. Unfortunately, like most things in life,
there will be times when one side will try and gain the advantage at the
detriment of the other party using this method. Nothing is more relevant
to this fact in Planning issues than TREES on or near a site that you want
to develop or extend.
I had an historic situation where a prime
site ripe for an infill plot had a bank of protected trees on its rear
boundary. In the middle of the garden was one sole Walnut tree of mature
height that was not protected. Research at the Planning Offices revealed
that it was only protected by a very obscure and old Planning Condition back
in the sixties for the original estate that required all mature trees on
the site to be retained (non were specifically identified).
The options of how to play this when entering into
pre-application negotiations with the Planning Dept. were put to the client
which entailed either taking a chance and removing the tree now to expose
the plot for an obvious new dwelling but at the risk of having to incur some
sort of costs for Planning rectification measures or leave the site as it
is and start talking to the Planners. The client did not want to take
the risk so we left the site unaltered.
Upon entering into sketch scheme designs and
negotiations with a Case Planning Officer and their 'new' urban design team
it soon became clear that the Planners were resistant to a property on this
site mainly for siting issues (not the trees) but our approaches to the Councils
Tree Officers were unusually non-responsive. After 4 weeks of messages
and non-returned calls I was eventually told that the Walnut tree had now
been issued with a Tree preservation order (TPO) without any form of
discussion from them. Even half expecting this as the 'worst case scenario'
it was still very shocking and upsetting to find that your trust of fair
play in the system had been well and truly shat on. Also, that a perfectly
good site had now received another layer of problems to overcome. It
was also clear that 'internal events' had taken place between all sections
of the Planning Dept. in order prevent development on this site due to the
initial negative response from the Case Planning Officer.
I wouldn't want to go so far as to indicate that
'dark powers were at work' but it is clear that in the close knit 'chummy'
atmosphere of the Council Offices, Planners and other consultation
specialists had conspired together to form a united front against
development on this site even though we had tried to negotiate separately
on the tree issue.
The conclusion to all this is
clear - Don't trust any part of the Planning system during
pre-application negotiations when trees are involved. On this particular
site we had now entered into an adversarial position not of our own
making. We would have been no better of if we had simply removed the
tree first and argued about the legality of this action afterwards after
all it was not formally protected. You can understand why some
arrogant developers do this - Honesty and openness simply doesn't pay when
dealing with some aspects of Planning.
Our 'Maximum Build
Planning Guide' explains this tree issue in more detail and
sets out various risk assessment procedures that you can incorporate within
your scheme when dealing with trees. I would not advocate removing
any trees from a site until you have accurately identified the problem areas
- some trees on a site will actually assist your Planning application so
an overall assessment and the formation of a plan is vital if you are to
avoid further TPO's being applied to your site. The TPO route is one
of the best tools Planners have in preventing your development - it's fairly
quick to implement, it's in-house and it's secretive until the day the
order is placed - you have been warned.
To purchase our Maximum Build Planning
Guide simply click on one of the links below....
"Adversity will teach you or defeat you.
Fortunately, the choice is yours"
About the Author
MSM is a Practicing Planning Agent and building design team offering
Architectural Services to their clients specialising in residential
development. The views and opinions expressed here are personal
ones based on relevant life experiences. These views and opinions are
not intended to be actioned or copied by others.
DISCLAIMER This email, its content and any files transmitted
with it are intended solely for the addressee(s) and may be legally privileged
and/or confidential. Access by any other party is unauthorised without
the express written permission of the sender. If you have received this
email in error you may not copy or use the contents, attachments or
information in any way. Please destroy it and contact the sender via
e-mail return. Internet communications are not secure unless protected
using strong cryptography. This email has been prepared using
information believed by the author to be reliable and accurate, but
we make no warranty as to accuracy or completeness. In particular
MSM does not accept responsibility for changes made to this email
after it was sent. Any opinions expressed in this document are those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the company
or its affiliates. They may be subject to change without notice.
New simple to understand
Planning Permission Guide...
"Puts dozens of strategies
and risk assessments procedures that you should be completing BEFORE you
present a scheme for formal Planning Permission in the UK."
(Order your 'ebook' today
and find out how the 'Professional Planning Consultant' prepares a scheme
for residential development PRIOR to formally submitting an extension
scheme or full site redevelopment for Planning Permission!)