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How close can I build to my tree?

 23/11/2015    Last Modified: 04/02/2016

If the building work proposed requires planning consent, all trees which could potentially be affected by the development (including those off-site) should be assessed by an arboricultural consultant in accordance with British Standard BS5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations, and details of this submitted to the Local Planning Authority with the planning application. This assessment will consider tree condition, dimensions, likely retention span (years), and future growth potential, and will inform design in relation to how close you can build to trees. If the tree is to be retained, constraints to be considered are those below ground and above ground. The below-ground constraints are dictated by the root protection area (RPA) the calculation of which is based on the stem diameter; the above ground constraints are dictated by the height and spread of the tree, future growth potential, shading potential and what you are proposing to construct.

If the work proposed does not require planning consent, it is advised that you still have the trees assessed in accordance with BS5837 to inform good design. If your tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or is located within a conservation area, legislation relating to tree protection overrides that of permitted development rights, and you risk prosecution if protected trees are damaged.

You will require the services of an arboricultural consultant to assist you with these matters.

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Topics:
tpo, tree preservation order, property, construction, BS5837, planning consent