Trees and Full Planning

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by mike42, 1 Mar 2015.

  1. mike42

    mike42

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    Hi

    I've been reading with interest a lot of the topics in this area of the forum. Our issue is that the plot adjacent and behind us has full planning to demolish one detached and replace with three terraced and three new gardens along the boundary. In addition the plot adjacent and alongside (which was a hotel)has put in for planning for 56 retirement flats. We estimate the buildng works alone (since they're not done in parallel) will be at least two years.

    So, we have decided that if we can't beat them we'll try and join them (much easier said than done!). Our plot is almost identical to the plot behind so we're thinking of broadly following the professional developer and building the same thing on our plot (three "townhouses").

    Having done a lot of reading so far and probably still nowhere near enough, I'm thinking to go for outline permision first and once granted to use that to try and get interest from banks/builders/developers to either borrow the building costs or go into some kind of JV. If and when funds look promising, we'd get the plans drawn up professionally and secure full permission. I'm not sure if this is a good order of doing things or not.

    So one question I have at the moment is should we fell some or all of the trees prior to submitting outline planning. I have noticed that both pro developers have cut down virtually all the trees prior to submitting their application. I'm afraid that if I didn't then the council would immediately slap TPOs on some of them making it difficult or impossible to build the town houses with enough parking, splays etc etc.

    Now, unlike the plot behind who had several Oaks felled (real shame) we don't have any magnificent trees like that although we do have a really nice magnolia which is probably only about 20% visibile from the road and is right in the middle of the front of the house which would probably get in the way of parking requirements. There are also lots of conifers towards the front boundary and a few around the other boundaries.

    I've attached a pic of the front showing the screening of the trees (magnolia is behind them). There is another house opposite the busy road but its well set back.

    So sorry for the long question (I thought I'd set the scene as it were in case of follow-ups regarding the planning in general), and thanks for any comments or opinion.

     
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  3. cjard

    cjard

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    The council won't necessarily slap TPOs on the trees because of the planning permission but they will probably add conditions to any grant of permission that the trees must be fenced off, protected during works and any that subsequently die in the 5 years following completion are replaced with new planting on some ratio between 1:1 and 1:4. If as part of your permission you stipulate trees will be removed then the council will likely ask you to replace them on some ratio if it's feasible within the plot boundaries. These are different to TPOs because they are only relevant for the duration of the works

    I personally would prefer deveopers make all reasonable efforts to retain mature trees, not only because they're a living thing and an essential part of the environment, but because a house with mature trees in the grounds will always be more attractive to buyers. Many developers regard trees as a nuisance and clear them away before councils can step in to preserve them in some way, because they do get in the way and add complexity to any job. Volume developers generally couldn't give a **** about the aesthetic of the environment they're creating as they lash up high density housing estates that meet minimum standards on every possible square inch

    Which side of the fence you fall on is up to you - but do consider that the trees may well have an enduring future value that can be aplus point when asking people to invest in you - you're building new houses, so are the two professionals either side. What are you going to do to your development to make it stand out/more saleable in a sudden rush of new housing in your immediate area?


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    OPP vs DPP in this case - I'd go for DPP; you're going to need accurate plans to get an idea of what it will cost and what it will realise. If you get DPP, it'd be worth having BR plans drawn too, as it makes pricing internal works easier and developers will prefer it. Essentially youre making a business case and noone will invest in a business that doesnt have a plan
     
  4. cjard

    cjard

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    The other thing I'd advise - decide how involved you're going to get in your pet project and stick to that level of involvement. I'm currently self building to the extent that I was laying blocks to sit a timber frame on til 8pm last night, and then when I got home I was designing and pricing and comparing kitchen quotes, and also discussing the finer points of air tightness and insulation with the structural draftsman 'til 1am. Then the kid was up all night ill and today the contractors were late to site meaning I've gotta work overtime this eve. I don't complain about it because it's the level of involvement I've chosen to devote, but it undoubtedly is too much time and effort for me to sustain so I'll eventually likely have to devolve some responsibility to someone else and pay a considerable sum of money to do so ;) - I should perhaps have been more realistic about the amount of time and effort that would be required pouring this amount of "self" into self build and dialled it back a bit from the start. Project managing something like this isn't just answering a couple of questions every day and picking up the phone to order a pack of bricks off jewsons every now and then. It might well take over your life
     
  5. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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