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Proposals for development and redevelopment of land need to include appropriate measures for the retention of existing vegetation.

Trees on development sitesLandscape Design

Trees on development sites

It is important that existing trees and hedgerows are protected, especially as new tree planting takes many years to make a significant effect on the landscape.

Somerset Council’s development control powers can be used to secure new planting and the retention of existing trees and hedgerows where appropriate on a new development site. The Council will therefore expect proposals for development and redevelopment of land to include appropriate measures for the retention of existing vegetation.

Planning permission will be refused where trees or hedgerows of good quality or landscape or wildlife significance would not be retained.

Where existing trees or hedgerows form a significant feature of development or redevelopment sites, Somerset Council will:

  • Require a survey showing their position, size and species (in accordance with the provisions of standard BS.5837)
  • Expect plans for new development to provide the retention of existing suitable trees and hedgerows
  • Where appropriate, serve Tree Preservation Orders to ensure the continuing protection of important trees
  • Impose conditions on planning permissions to ensure that adequate protection is given to retained trees and hedgerows during site clearance and building operations (in accordance with standard BS.5837).

Trees on development sites may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders and/or by conditions attached to a planning permission. It is important that such trees are properly protected during construction. Any work being carried out close to a tree will need to be in accordance with British Standard BS 5837:2012 – Trees and Construction.

Landscape Design

The appearance and treatment of the spaces between and around buildings is of equal importance to the design of the buildings themselves. Landscape considerations should therefore form an integral part of design and layout.

New development, particularly where there is little or no existing vegetation can appear at variance with its setting for a substantial period of time. New planting helps to soften the immediate impact of the development and helps to enhance the immediate surroundings in terms of its appearance and nature conservation value. It is essential that planting schemes are prepared as an integral part of the development and considered at an early stage in preparing a planning application.

Selection of appropriate native species of trees and shrubs for individual planting schemes is vital. Regard should be given to location, ground conditions and local landscape context.

This guidance was produced by the former Sedgemoor District Council

Last reviewed: March 15, 2024 by Keri

Next review due: September 15, 2024

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