|Address||YardArts 17 - 29 Lower Ashley Road St Pauls Bristol BS2 9QA
|Proposal||Construction of a 4 storey block of flats to provide 31no. units (11no. 1bedoom, 2 bedspace units; 13no. 2 bedroom, 3 bedspace units; 6no. 2bedroom, 4bedspace units; 1no, 3bedroom 4 bedspace unit), including affordable housing, with associated parking and amenity space (Major).|
|Neighbour Consultation Expiry||20-02-19|
|Standard Consultation Expiry||19-02-19|
|Decision||GRANTED subject to condition(s)|
|BCC Planning Portal||on Planning Portal|
|Public Comments||Supporters: 0 Objectors: 2 Unstated: 9 Total: 11|
|No. of Page Views||0|
|Comment analysis||Date of Submission|
|Nearby Trees||Within 200m|
Recommendation submitted 09-07-19
We have questioned the basis of the grant as it relates to tree replacement:
- Can you advise whether or not we have understood the situation correctly?
- If we are correct, please explain why BTRS has not been applied; and,
- What provision has been made for the removal and replacement of the Dawn Redwood, which itself should have been subject the BTRS to be replaced by another two trees as its removal is as a direct result of this development.
This objection is made on behalf of Bristol Tree Forum.
1. The Background History
This application omits to mention the former presence of two Indian Bean Trees (Catalpa bignonioides) growing on site and which are referred to in the earlier 2017 application, 17/01898/F, in the Arboricultural Impact Assessment & Tree Protection Plan (the Report) of Bosky Trees dated 27the April 2017.
The trees are referred to as T1 & T2 in the table attached to the Report: (Image not available)I
They are shown on the plan attached to the Report as T1 & T2: (Image not available)
The trees can be seen on Google Earth and in a Google Street View image dated July 2018. (Images not available)
The two trees are specifically referred to in paragraph three (though they are incorrectly identified as paulownia tomentosa – Foxglove-trees) as one of the reasons why the earlier application was refused on 25th June 2018:
“The development would result in the loss of two locally important, prominent and mature Category B trees (paulownia tomentosa) which due to their un-common nature, appearance and position contribute positively towards the character and appearance of the area and hold high visual amenity value. Insufficient mitigation (either on site replacement planting or financial contribution) in accordance with the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard has been agreed to justify and/or mitigate the loss of this existing important green infrastructure. The development is therefore contrary to Policies BCS9, BCS11 and BCS21 of the Bristol Development Framework Core Strategy (2011), Policies DM15, DM17, DM26, DM27 and DM29 of the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies (2014) as well as guidance contained within the NPPF (2012) and within the Planning Obligations SPD (Adopted 2012).”
These trees were felled sometime after July 2018. All that remains are their stumps. I photographed and measured the diameter of the stumps on 08 July 2019. These are some 680mm and 800mm in diameter respectively. Both stumps are showing some signs of regrowth, but it is unlikely that these will ever generate new trees. (Image not available)
2. Apply BTRS
If this application is granted, the developer should be obliged to pay for their replacement under DM17 BTRS as they must have been felled within a year of this application which was made in December 2018.
Using the diameter measurements above, I calculate that the developer will need to fund the replacement of 14 trees of similar growth potential (preferably at least two of which should be of the same species as the trees felled) either on site or elsewhere. At £765.21 per tree, this comes to £10,712.94.
Only two small trees are identified for planting on site – an Amelanchier lamarc and a Prunus subhirtella. In our view these cannot be compared to what was been lost – Indian Bean Trees have an eventual height of over 12 metres with a spread of over eight metres at maturity (based on RHS Data). Even if the developer is permitted to substitute these two trees for what has been lost, they should still be obliged to fund the 12 other replacements. They should not be permitted to argue that any shrubs or hedging planted on site should be considered suitable replacements.
3. Compensate for the loss of Amenity
The decision refusing the 2017 application described the trees as ‘two locally important, prominent and mature Category B trees…which due to their un-common nature, appearance and position contribute positively towards the character and appearance of the area and hold high visual amenity value’. Had these trees not been felled, then I calculate that they would now have had a combined CAVAT amenity value of some £200,000.
It seems to me (though I may be wrong) that these trees were destroyed as a direct consequence of the decision of June 2018 and in a deliberate attempt to avoid having to comply with DM17 BTRS. As a result the community has been denied the opportunity of preserving and enjoying two important trees with a ‘high visual amenity value’ (it is unfortunate that Planning did not, as was suggested at the time, protect these trees with TPOs).
The developer should be required to compensate for this loss at its true lost amenity value in addition to making any payment required under BTRS.
4. Protect the remaining trees
The developer’s application has not answered question 10 of its application correctly. There are two trees on site (now felled) and six ‘on land adjacent to the proposed development site that could influence the development or might be important as part of the local landscape character’.
These offsite trees will need to be protected if development proceeds. The developer should be required to prepare an Arboricultural Method Statement dealing with the proposed protection of these trees as part of this application.
Mark Ashdown - Chair, Bristol Tree Forum (09 July 2019)