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Tree related constraints can be an obstacle to achieving planning permission. A BS5837 tree survey and tree constraint plan with drawings are needed for most planning applications where trees are on or adjacent to your land. MWA have decades of experience to guide you through this increasingly complex area of development and assist in securing consent for your project.

Our highly experienced Arboricultural consultants have the expertise to produce technically robust tree reports with a pragmatic focus on the important issues maximising project value and easing the planning process.

We provide tree surveys for small and large scale projects from extensions, single to multiple dwellings, and commercial developments.

Our comprehensive arboricultural reports include:

  • Baseline tree condition survey to BS5837: 2012
  • Tree Constraint Plans (TCP) to aid good design
  • Arboricultural Impact Assessments (AIA) to meet Council validation requirements
  • Arboricultural Method Statements in support of your application or to discharge conditions
  • Tree Protection Plans (TPP) in support of your application or discharge conditions
  • Soft landscaping schemes for discharge of planning conditions
  • Site supervision and monitoring

Our mortgage & insurance tree reports are accepted by all mortgage providers and insurers.


Why choose MWA for your pre-development BS5837 survey?

Our experienced and exert staff conduct around 3000 tree surveys annually covering most of the UK for clients of all sizes in all sectors. We guarantee that our tree survey (and attached reports / mapping) will be accepted by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) under their validation requirements.

Why do I need a pre-development BS5837 survey?

Where there are trees within or adjacent to a development site (of all sizes including householder type), the Local Planning Authority (LPA) require trees to be a ‘material consideration’ and provision must be made to ensure their assessment, in accordance with the current British Standard BS5837: 2012.

In our experience, completion of a pre-development BS5837 survey is a validation requirement of most LPA’s which means they will not register a planning application without a BS5837 compliant survey and other elements that it facilitates (arboricultural impact assessment, arboricultural method statement, tree constraints and protection plans).

A pre-development BS5837 survey will be accompanied by a Tree Constraints Plan (TCP) to illustrate the trees position, category, crown spread and where required, shading arc illustration.

What does a pre-development BS5837 involve?

One of our qualified staff will attend the site and record all materially relevant trees and hedges in accordance with the requirements set out in BS5837: 2012. We will record tree attributes (quantitative and qualitative) digitally and making use of survey / measuring equipment.

Each tree feature will be assigned a category (A, B, C, U) depending upon its condition, life expectancy, ecological value subject to the guidance set out in BS5837: 2012.

Where available and supplied by the client, tree features will be plotted using a topographical survey.

What else might the LPA require to accompany the BS5837 survey?

In addition to the pre-development BS5837 survey, where a full planning application is to be made, the LPA will typically also require a Tree Protection Plan (TPP), Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) and preliminary Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS).

What is a Tree Constraints Plan (TCP)?

A TCP illustrates the constraints presented by all trees recorded by the baseline survey with details of tree category, root protection area and crown extents (four cardinal points NESW). This allows the user to understand where conflicts between the proposed development and recorded trees exist thus allowing appropriate changes, where necessary.

What is a Tree Protection Plan (TPP)?

A tree protection plan illustrates the position of retained trees along with their Root Protection Area (RPA) along side the location and type of mitigation measures (protective fencing, temporary ground protection, special engineering solutions etc). This is information typically required by the LPA to show how the retained trees are to be protected and significant adverse impacts avoided.

What is an Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA)?

An AIA provides an assessment of the likely above and below ground impacts on retained trees so that the LPA might assess the suitability of the proposed development. The AIA will include a summary of tree removals, tree pruning enabling works along side considering the long-term relationship between retained trees and the proposed development. Assessment of the impact of new underground services and changes in levels will be included where details are supplied.

What is an Arboricultural Method Statement?

An AMS is typically required to accompany the impact assessment and tree protection plan and offers detail relating to the specification of protective fencing, ground protection, methods of working within the RPA (where possible). The specification of a new hard surface, extent of tree pruning may also be covered (this is not an exhaustive list).

The LPA require a scheme of Arboricultural Site Supervision – what does this involve?

This is typically required as a reserved matter (condition) so we will examine the project phases and schedule relevant attendance by a project arboricultural consultant. This will involve a pre-start meeting and schedule / unannounced visits to ensure an auditable record of monitoring and supervision of key phases is available for scrutiny.

Can you design Soft Landscaping Schemes?

Yes, we can design a suitable scheme based on the scale, nature and setting of the development and supply a specification for the supply, handling, installation and aftercare of nursery stock. Soft landscaping schemes are usually required for the discharge of a planning condition.

Can I construct a new driveway close to an existing tree?

Retained trees are assigned a Root Protection Area (RPA) and whilst the LPA prefer this area to be avoided, new permeable load bearing surfaces can be constructed within the RPA, subject to the successful use of ‘no-dig’ engineered construction techniques and satisfying the LPA that any changes of levels will not adversely impact the tree(s).


“Thank you so much MWA Arboriculture for the Homebuyer – Mortgage Report you produced for us. We bought the house and have followed your advice and removed the conifer. Now we have more light in our front room and the risk of subsidence has been removed!”

Mrs Stockbridge


“Just to say that I don’t deal with MWA usually, as I don’t case handle. However, I have found the service of you and your colleagues fantastic on this and a few other claims.”

Customer Services

National Insurer

“MWA Arboriculture Ltd…were excellent – did survey on 12/15 hours’ notice and the completed report was with us within one working day of payment. Made a massive difference as the original surveyors report was massively flawed!!”

Mr S Ord

Newcastle upon Tyne

Contact Us

We offer a free initial advice service and are happy to discuss your needs without obligation.  To contact us please either complete the call-back form, email or call us.


0800 612 9452

Bloxham Mill Business Centre, Barford Road, Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 4FF

Head Office : Unit 8 Stephenson House, Horsley Business Centre, Horsley, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE15 0NY

Monday - Friday : 9am-5pm

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