Eastleigh Borough Council has approved a robust protection of existing trees and planting of new trees for new developments as part of a Trees and Development Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
This policy ensures that trees are fully considered by developers as part of the planning process and there is a net gain of trees on development sites. It will also help to reinforce the Borough’s Local Plan policy on trees, develop green infrastructure and support the Council’s commitment to tree planting as part of the Climate Change and Environmental Emergency programme.
The Trees and Development SPD provides developers with key principles about incorporating existing trees, planting and establishing new trees and in exceptional cases, the replacement of existing trees on site. The Council views existing trees as important assets to a new development and careful consideration must be given to incorporating them in the design and layout of any development and protecting them during construction. It also includes an extensive tree replacement policy with, for example, up to eight replacement trees required if a large tree is removed. Ancient and veteran trees are given higher levels of protection including buffer zones and root protection areas.
Council Leader Keith House said, “This policy reinforces our commitment to improving biodiversity by protecting existing trees and planting new trees on future developments in the borough. They provide a clear system for developers to follow that we can introduce quickly and enforce.”
He added, “New trees play an important role in the landscape design of new developments from open spaces, along roads and streets, within areas of car parking and in gardens of new developments. The draft policy will sit well alongside the Council’s own commitment to plant 160,000 extra trees over the coming years on sites around the Borough.”