The proposal comprised demolition of the existing late twentieth-century, three-bedroom detached bungalow and replacement with a substantially larger 3.5 storey (including basement level) detached dwelling. The proposal widens the existing steeply sloping driveway from the highway boundary, requiring the removal of trees.
On receipt of the topographic land survey and detailed layout proposal drawing, our surveyor assessed the trees and site conditions in accordance with British Standard BS5837:2005 ‘Trees in Relation to Construction – Recommendations’.
Survey data was set out in a Tree Survey Schedule, and a Tree Constraints Plan was produced to identify potential conflicts between the proposal and trees.
We produced a Layout Appraisal Drawing to identify all potential constraints on the development that might arise due to the proximity of trees. Our initial advice included layout modifications to reduce the likely impact on trees and reduce the risk of a tree related planning refusal.
Following our preliminary advice, the client modified the layout to reduce the building footprint where the impact on trees was likely to be resisted by the local planning authority and the layout was adjusted with an overall increase in plan area. We identified opportunities for the establishment of new trees and boundary screening, and at all stages of both building and landscape design, we liaised with the client, architect and landscape architect.
A Tree Protection Plan and method statement identified the design, method, managementand location of temporary protective barriers along with special detail for constructing the new driveway close to trees.
A planning application was supported by an Arboricultural Statement, which evaluated the proposal against national and local policies, identified the impacts on trees and set out how those impacts would be mitigated.
During the process of building out the development, the client investigated constructing a new access driveway and stone wall on the highway boundary. The proposed driveway and wall were adjacent to several mature trees and a successful planning application would need to demonstrate that the installations could be achieved without an adverse effect on the trees. We revisited the site and assessed ground levels in relation to trees and concluded that both structures could be achieved without a significant adverse impact on adjacent trees, but detailed engineering specifications would be required for submission with a planning application.
Before approaching the Local Planning Authority, we produced a Layout Appraisal Drawing to assess the potential impact of the driveway construction on trees, identify conflicts and provide solutions. Liaising with the council’s Tree Officer, we identified that adverse effects on trees could be avoided by employing low-invasive construction techniques for both the driveway and wall, subject to the submission of an appropriate design. Working with the preliminary layout, we liaised with our associate Engineers at Northern Structural Services and agreed a design for the new stone boundary wall with gate pillars, electrically operated gates and concrete bridging ramp.
Full planning was approved, enabling our client to construct the house and associated landscaping works in a way that minimised damage to their tree asset, together with the subsequent enhancement of site aesthetics and screening through the provision of new landscaping.
Cheshire Woodlands use of Quantified Tree Risk Assessment has proved invaluable. It has helped us to retain trees that were condemned by another advisor. They have used measurable data to provide us with a valid tree risk assessment.