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Consultation on Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance - Trees, Hedgerows and  Woodland on Development Sites

The Council would like your views on the revised Trees, Hedgerows and Woodland on Development Sites (Consultation Draft) planning guidance document.  

Once adopted by the Council in its final form, the document will provide supplementary planning guidance (SPG) in support of planning policies contained in the Swansea Local Development Plan (LDP).  Its purpose is to provide guidance on how the relevant policies of the LDP should be applied to planning applications with respect to all existing, retained and newly planted trees, hedgerows and woodland on development sites.

This document is an update of the existing SPG titled “the Protection of Trees on Development Sites”, which was adopted against the Council’s previous development plan.The majority of updates made have been minor and factual only.  The most substantive change is to clarify how the Council will deal with trees known as Category A, B C and U. Minor amendments also highlight the contribution trees, hedgerows and woodland make to biodiversity, bringing the document into line with the emphasis on biodiversity and trees in Planning Policy Wales (PPW) 10.

The Council would like your views on whether the draft SPG document covers an appropriate range of planning issues, and if you consider it provides sufficient clarity for decision makers and applicants and their specialist advisors on the important principles governing development and trees.

The survey will run
until 5pm Friday 16 October 2020.  Please read the SPG document and answer the following questions.  Where you are commenting on a specific paragraph, please state the paragraph number.

Section 1 - General Questions

Following public consultation, the Council will amend the document and seek its formal approval as SPG to the Swansea LDP.  It will be a material consideration when considering how trees are dealt with in the determination of planning applications, in particular in support of LDP Policy ER11.

  Do you think the draft SPG contains sufficient and appropriate links to the Swansea LDP and its policies?
  Is the draft SPG clear how relevant legislation and policies relating to trees, hedgerows and woodland  will be implemented in Swansea through the planning application process?

A key purpose of the SPG is to make clear the nature of information/surveys/assessments that the Council will require to support a planning application.

  Does the draft SPG make clear the content and quality of the information that is required to support a planning application affecting trees, hedgerows or woodland?
  Does the draft SPG clearly explain the Council's expectations in relation to relevant best practice guidance?

Section 2:   Key Amendments to draft SPG - not in previously adopted version of Trees SPG

Para 4.5 of the draft SPG states:"Category A and B (BS5837:2012) – high and moderate quality trees will usually be expected to be incorporated into a layout. Category C trees should be retained where the proposals do not require their removal. "

  Do you agree with this approach?

Para 4.6 of the draft SPG states: "Category C and U trees should be retained where they have significant biodiversity features and their retention will not be hazardous."

  Do you agree with this approach?
  Do amendments to the SPG clearly explain the importance of trees, hedgerows and woodland and their contribution to biodiversity, in line with Guidance in PPW 10 and LDP Policy ER 11?
  Do amendments to the SPG clearly explain how veteran trees and ancient trees and woodland will be considered in the planning application process, in line with PPW 10 and LDP Policy ER 11?

Potential Additional Amendment

The draft version of the SPG was approved for consultation at the Planning Committee on 22nd July 2020. At that Committee, Elected Members suggested that the document should be amended to state that the Council will place Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on all newly planted or retained trees located on land in private ownership, where such trees are considered to be part of the landscaping and placemaking of a new development.
(This will not apply to trees within public areas which will either be adopted by the Council or maintained under private agreement).

  Do you agree that the SPG should be amended in this way?

Additional Comments

  Do you have any additional comments relating to the draft SPG and/or are there specific amendments (not covered by questions 1-9 above) that you would like to see made to the document?

Section 4: About you

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