“Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction - Recommendations" - An insider’s guide to the changes
For the last seven years, BS 5837:2005 “Trees in Relation to Construction” has operated as the primary document guiding the process of determining tree related planning applications from concept through to completion. This publication has now been superseded by an updated and renamed version BS 5837:2012 “Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction - Recommendations” which takes effect from 30 April 2012.
The authors of BS 5837:2012 describe the document in its Foreword as “a full revision of the standard” and there are significant differences particularly in the process control and categorisation. There is also a greater emphasis on the importance of planting and post development monitoring. However, many of the fundamental items (e.g. the importance of Root Protection Areas - RPA) remain largely unchanged from BS 5837:2005.
Summary of Changes
1 The most significant alteration is that of process control. In BS 5837:2005 full details of the Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) were obligatory at the application stage. This is not now the case. BS 5837:2012 sates that only “heads of terms” are necessary prior to application, with full details being required by condition after approval. This brings the standard in line with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Work Stages Plan and follows the following procedure:
• feasibility and planning,
• planning permission,
• detailed/technical design,
• implementation and aftercare.
The pre-consent work includes the tree survey, identifying design constraints, identifying trees for retention and removal, and production of a (draft) tree protection plan.
2 There are a number of minor changes to the initial tree survey.
• Category “R” trees have been replaced with Category “U”, though the assessment designation is essentially the same.
• The RPA method of measurement and calculation has changed for multi stem trees.
• Life expectancy nomenclature has been adjusted.
• Additional data is advised for assessment (e.g. height and aspect of lowest branch).
• Increased emphasis on ensuring trees on adjacent land are considered.
• The 20% RPA offset for open-grown trees has been removed, with the area usually plotted as a circle. Modified RPA may be employed, but only when justifiable on defendable arboricultural grounds.
• The survey is now classed as part of the feasibility study.
3 BS 5837:2005 had standard tree protection fencing. This has been amended in BS 5837:2012 to allow a more varied, site specific approach, though standard details are still provided as examples. In simple terms the fencing (including ground protection) must be “fit for purpose”.
4 An auditable scheme of site monitoring must be provided to ensure that the approved AMS is complied with during the construction process.
5 There is more emphasis on new trees and their role and importance within a development, in particular their significance in climate change remediation. BS 5837:2012 contains much more information and guidance on incorporating new planting in designs. This includes a requirement to demonstrate that newly planted trees will be maintained for a minimum agreed period.
As a result of the changes brought in by BS 5837:2012, planning applications involving trees will no longer require extensive detailing, though it remains essential that any arboricultural solutions proposed in the “heads of terms” can be delivered in compliance with post consent conditions. This means that whilst the volume of data submitted will be less, Arboriculturalists must be just as assiduous in assessing development proposals as they were with BS 5837:2005. This will continue to involve working with Architects and Developers pre application to resolve or mitigate any tree related issues which may prevent the achievement of an acceptable scheme.
Post planning permission, the Arboriculturalist will be required to produce a fully detailed AMS which addresses all of the originally listed “heads of terms”.
At implementation, the Arboriculturalist will undertake a site monitoring programme to ensure the AMS is complied with, acting as liaison between the developer and the Local Authority
The change of procedure standardises arboricultural matters with other issues dealt with by Architects in the planning process. It requires a lesser level of documentation (but not of confidence) to be submitted for planning applications, but necessitates a greater input from Arboriculturalists post planning permission than has previously been the case.
Given these changes we at Hayden’s will be able to reduce our fees to ensure that, should in the unfortunate case you not be successful in getting Planning Permission, you have not paid for the detailed Arboricultural Method Statement previous supplied as standard.
Should you wish to discuss any of the above or have any sites you would like us to look at, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01284 765391
or email email@example.com
For further details of our services please visit WWW.TREESURVEYS.CO.UK