Trees are fully recognised as a material consideration within the planning process. Most local planning authorities will include a statement within the Local Plan acknowledging the importance of trees in the wider environment. Veteran trees are protected by national planning policy. The increased protection for trees in the Environment Act will undoubtedly increase the importance of trees in the development process.
Development proposals will need to demonstrate that trees have been fully considered and had an influence on the design process. Detailed guidance on this process is provided within BS5837 (2012): ‘Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – recommendations’. Planning authorities will expect to see that professional advice has been obtained for the management of trees on a development site, and that this advice is in compliance with the guidelines provided in BS5837.