Application Details

Reference 21/00346/VC
Address 94 Fir Tree Lane Bristol BS5 8BJ  
Street View
Proposal Hawthorn (T1). 3m crown height reduction. Re-shape crown. Hawthorn (T2). 2m crown height reduction. Re-shape crown. 3 no. Damson (G3). Fell Ash (T4). Fell. 2 No. Hawthorn (G5). 2m crown height reduction. Re-shape crown. Blackthorn (T6). Re-coppice. Dogwood (T7). Remove due to low amenity value. Sycamore (T8). Fell. Hawthorn (T9).Fell. Sycamore (T10). Fell. Plum (T11). Fell Plum (T12). Fell. Sycamore (T13). Crown clean. 20% crown thin. 2m Crown reduction. awthorn (T14). Fell' Plum (T15). Fell Ash (T16). Fell. Cherry (T17). 3m crown height reduction. Re-shape crown, Crown clean.
Validated 22-01-21
Type Works to Trees in Conservation Areas
Status Decided
Neighbour Consultation Expiry 12-02-21
Determination Deadline 05-03-21
Decision Preservation Order NOT REQUIRED
Decision Issued 18-03-21
BCC Planning Portal BCC Planning Portal
Public Comments Supporters: 0 Objectors: 21  Unstated: 1  Total: 22
No. of Page Views 0
Comment analysis   Date of Submission
Nearby Trees Within 200m

BTF response: OBJECT

Recommendation submitted 02-02-21

Decision - Preservation Order NOT REQUIRED

Observations Consultation complete: 18 objections received. Objections summarised as: 1. Loss of habitat and wildlife corridor 2. Impact on wildlife 3. Impact on No reason for works provided Tree Officers

Response:

1. The subject trees are constrained to those in poor condition or poor form - the numerous remaining trees will continue to contribute to the local wildlife.

2. Not a consideration of a 211 Notification I'm afraid.

3. A reason is not required for a 211 notification.

During my site visit the resident stated the area has not been managed for several years. The steeply sloping site faces Troopers Hill - the garden is clearly visible from Troopers Hill and the site contributes to the local amenity value.

The proposed tree works includes the felling of several small trees with poor structural and physiological condition. Due to their small stature, the loss of these trees will not impact the amenity value of the conservation area. I have uploaded an annotated photograph from Troopers Hill, which shows all significant trees on site will be retained. Due to the small stature and poor condition of these trees, I have no objections.

The works proposed are acceptable.

 

We have submitted our comments objecting to this application.

See also 06/05079/F | Erection of 1 no. two storey dwellinghouse with 4 no. bedrooms. | Land Adjacent To 92 Fir Tree Lane Bristol BS5 8BJ:

item 10 Grant states:

“The ‘Conservation Area’ and badger corridor shown on drawing number 92/FTL/SG/S/02 Revision B shall be protected during the course of construction by 1.8m high protective fencing along the line of the 1.8m high closeboarded boundary fence unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  Thereafter a 1.8m high close boarded fence shall be erected and the ‘Conservation Area’ managed in full accordance with the Badger Report dated 11 July 2007 unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason: In order to protect the ‘Conservation Area’ during and after the construction in the interest of the appearance of the area and nature conservation.”

Public Comments

  OBJECT

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The Background

This is an application to remove 13 out of 20 trees identified the Arboricultural Assessment &

Recommendations Report prepared by Hillside Tree Limited. A map of the trees surveyed has

been provided (figure 1). The survey was undertaken on 05 January 2021.

Figure 2: Plan showing the trees surveyed

There is also a table of the trees (figure 2), but this does not comply with the requirements of

BS5837:2012. In particular, no tree dimensions are given.

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Figure 3: Schedule to trees surveyed

The survey notes that there may be hollows in the trunks and larger branches of the trees which

could be used by birds or bats for shelter or breeding. It is unclear if there are other trees on

site which have not been included on the survey.

The area surveyed is on a steep, north-west-facing escarpment. Taken as a whole, these trees

form part of a larger continuous wooded area which creates a green corridor running east to

west and is well connected with the river Avon and with Troopers Hill Nature Reserve and the

green space beyond it to the north of it (see figure 3).

The site is in a prominent location and is highly visible for the surrounding public realm. We

estimate that it is about 640 square metres and that its tree canopy covers about 60% of the

site - just over 400 sq metres. The applicant plans to remove some 65% of the trees on the site

and to reduce canopies of the remaining ones, so at least 260 square metres of tree canopy will

be lost.

It is not clear why the trees are to be felled, though the survey suggests that there may be a

plan to create a garden. There are signs that work has already started - a flight of steps appears

to have been installed in the south-east corner some time after 20181.

1 See the Google Earth aerial view for 23 April 2020 and compare it with the earlier image made on 19 April 2019.

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Figure 4: The site (the estimated site is edged red) in context

It is notable that, when Planning permission was given to build number 94 - see

06/05079/F | Erection of 1 no. two storey dwelling house with 4 no. bedrooms. | Land

Adjacent To 92 Fir Tree Lane Bristol BS5 8BJ - Paragraph 10 of the Decision expressly stated:

“The ‘Conservation Area’ and badger corridor shown on drawing number 92/FTL/SG/S/02

Revision B shall be protected during the course of construction by 1.8m high protective

fencing along the line of the 1.8m high closeboarded boundary fence unless otherwise

agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Thereafter a 1.8m high close boarded

fence shall be erected and the ‘Conservation Area’ managed in full accordance with the

Badger Report dated 11 July 2007 unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local

Planning Authority.

Reason: In order to protect the ‘Conservation Area’ during and after the construction in

the interest of the appearance of the area and nature conservation.”

As far as we are aware, this condition still applies and has not been varied and that the site

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remains a conservation area. It should remain so.

The application of the mitigation hierarchy

The applicant has failed to demonstrate that they have overcome even the first test as set out in the Mitigation Hierarchy.

This provides a cascading decision process: only if the preceding choice is unavailable is the next one considered.

• Avoid - Where possible, habitat damage should be avoided.

• Minimise - Where possible, habitat damage and loss should be minimised.

• Remediate - Where possible, any damage or lost habitat should be restored.

• Compensate - As a last resort, damaged or lost habitat should be compensated for.

Local Planning Authorities (LPA) in the UK have a statutory duty to consider both the protection and planting of trees. The potential impact of development on all trees is therefore a material consideration. BCS9 of the Core Strategy states that "Individual green assets should be retained wherever possible and integrated into new development".

Whilst this application is not a formal development application as such, it appears that the applicant plans to ‘develop’ the site in the broadest sense.

The application of Tree Preservation Legislation

These trees satisfy the requirements for a TPO for the following reasons:

1. Amenity Assessment: Taken as a whole, these woodland trees form part of an important landmark group of trees which are easily visible from the public realm.

2. Retention Span: We understand that there are no safety reasons put forward for the removal of the trees. The arboricultural assessment of these trees has failed to see them as a cohesive, natural, self-generating woodland which would, if left undisturbed, have a natural regeneration cycle. As such, the woodland is suitable for retention.

3. Relative public visibility & suitability for TPO: These trees are an important feature of the local area.

4. Other factors: The trees form a cohesive whole and help provide year-round ecoservices to the local and the wider community.

5. Expediency Assessment: there is an imminent threat to the tree given this application.

These trees are, therefore, suitable for TPO protection.

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Compensation calculation

If, despite our representations, the planning authority is minded to grant this application, then the applicant should be obliged to compensate for the loss of the trees as required under the mitigation hierarchy as set out above.

Because of the nature of this application, the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard (BTRS) will not apply. Even if it did, the necessary compensation cannot be calculated because the stems of the trees identified for removal have not been measured.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) stresses the importance of Green Infrastructure. There is a presumption in favour of sustainable environmental development.

Because of their importance in relation to the management of air, soil and water quality along with other associated ecosystem services, climate change adaptions and beneficial health effects, trees form an integral part of our green infrastructure. The NPPF also seeks to achieve the protection and enhancement of landscapes and achieve Net Gain in biodiversity.

The Biodiversity Metric 2.0 (JP029) (BDM) provides a way of measuring and accounting for biodiversity losses and gains resulting from development or land management change. It defines Net Gain as an:

“approach to development that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than beforehand. This means protecting existing habitats and ensuring that lost or degraded environmental features are compensated for by restoring or creating environmental features that are of greater value to wildlife and people. It does not change the fact that losses should be avoided where possible, a key part of adhering to a core environmental planning principle called the mitigation hierarchy.”

If the modelling set out in the BDM is applied, then the baseline habitat being lost is 261 square metres. We calculate that this is equivalent to 0.253 Biodiversity Units for this urban woodland.

On this basis the New Habitat area needed just to replace what will be lost (without any Net Gain added) is 684 square metres. We calculate that 37 trees will need to be planted just to achieve Zero Net Gain. This would only be achieved after 27 years (known as the Time to Target under BDM) – assuming all the replacement trees planted are planted today and survive this long.

The calculations upon which these values are based may be downloaded here.

Bristol Tree Forum February 2021

on 2021-03-08   OBJECT

The applicant I'm sure appreciates the local character of the Troopers Hill area. That is,one of natural, green and wildlife rich spaces and places between buildings.

They should be encouraged to maintain and develop that character for the benefit of themselves,and those around - not contribute to its loss. Those spaces are the amenity for all those who livein, and visit, the Troopers Hill area - not only humans. This is recognised in the requirement ofpast planning decisions for this site and those nearby, where protection is provided to thosespaces, and ask that protection be continued.

Thank you.

on 2021-02-18   OBJECT

To whom it concerns

Our objection submitted about the cutting down of the trees has gone missing along with 18 otherobjections that have also gone missing from this application.

There are two documents added on the 17th of February with status of "Allowed" and "Costdecisions" which do not relate to this application at all. They are for - 1st & 2nd Floors, 9A UnionStreet, Bristol BS1 2DD!

There is clearly something wrong with your database query that needs solving or something haswiped the data here, please can you restore it.

Thanks you

Ewan Long.

on 2021-02-16   OBJECT

I have read the application and I cannot find a statement of the purpose of the proposedwork. All of the trees included in this application are on land designated as a nature corridor. Sowhy touch the trees? All this will do is harm wildlife established in the trees and the surroundingnature corridor. We have seen foxes, deer, badgers, bats and other wildlife in the corridor - whydisturb them?

When we bought our house we understood that the trees in the nature corridor (and the corridoritself) were never going to be touched. This is one of the reasons why we bought this house, asthis would ensure no development immediately adjacent to our property.

on 2021-02-14   OBJECT

I live locally and object to this proposal of works on the grounds of the removal anddisturbance of vital habitat for local wildlife.This area is known to be a habitat for badgers, foxes, bats and other species.Also the trees are host to birds, insects and funghi.Bristol is losing it's nature at an alarming pace, with 'wild' spaces being turned over todevelopment, and front gardens being concreted over, despite the council having declared anecological emergency for the city.The application does not explain why these works are needed as the area is untended and hasbeen left to develop naturally, so why is this needed now?

on 2021-02-12   OBJECT

This is a conservation area and we have many wonderful species of wildlife who visitthe area including deer, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs owls, buzzards and many garden birds. Thefelling of trees in this area will affect this. In addition to this, the privacy of close neighbours willalso be compromised with the lack of tree cover. As a so called green city we should be protectingour wildlife, not allowing the felling of trees, especially in protected areas such as this.

on 2021-02-12   OBJECT

I would wish to add to other commentation in opposition to this application that at thetime of the original application for planning, is was noted that the felling of trees could lead to landsubsidence.A council surveyor came to my property and agreed that due to the extreme hight of the bank, thatthis was indeed the case. It is impossible to see the hight of the bank without visiting the site. Iwould also add that the varity and quantity of wild life must be adversely affected should this workbe allowed. I would also add that the property at 94 fir tree lane would have an uninterupted viewdirectly into my bedroom window, and I strongly object to the desecration to this beautiful naturalarea.

on 2021-02-12   OBJECT

The area concerned is a conservation area and the reason for felling the trees is notstated in the planning application, therefore, should not go ahead.

The area is a badger corridor and home to an abundance of wildlife, such as owls, bats, deer,foxes and other birds of prey. Felling the trees that have been identified would have a significantnegative impact on them.

If the planning application is successful, it will also leave the homes on Troopers hill road veryoverlooked and due to the elevation of the home submitting the application, it will be people'sbedrooms and bathrooms that are being overlooked, which would result in a huge loss in privacyand devalue the homes in the area.

The arbouricultural report states that the majority of the trees identified are in good health, but ofeither 'low amenity value' or 'limited life expectancy.' This indicates that there is no reason to fellthe trees, other than for the owner to develop the land, for which, there is no planning applicationand therefore no reason to do so.

Felling trees in the area will also have a significant impact on the view for others using TroopersHill and had caused concern in the wider community.

on 2021-02-09   OBJECT

At the Friends of Troopers Hill meeting of Thursday 4th February I, their Chair, wasasked to object to this planning application on their behalf. The Friends are a group of localresidents who act as volunteers caring for the Local Nature Reserve, Troopers Hill, in partnershipwith Bristol City Council.

Friends of Troopers Hill are concerned that the proposal to fell and reduce the canopy of trees willhave a negative impact on wildlife in the area.

The view of the site, 94 Fir Tree Lane, from Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve, annotated toshow the area impacted by this application can be seen onwww.troopers-hill.org.uk/plan/view9401.jpg

In 2007 the planning decision 06/05079/F for the building of 94 Fir Tree Lane, at the timedescribed as "land adjacent to 92 Fir Tree Lane", provided protection for wildlife visiting the plot bydesignating a specific area of the plot as a nature conservation area in the following words:"The 'Conservation Area' and badger corridor shown on drawing number 92/FTL/SG/S/02Revision B shall be protected during the course of construction by 1.8m high protective fencingalong the line of the 1.8m high closeboarded boundary fence unless otherwise agreed in writing bythe Local Planning Authority. Thereafter a 1.8m high close boarded fence shall be erected and the'Conservation Area' managed in full accordance with the Badger Report dated 11 July 2007 unlessotherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason: In order to protect the 'Conservation Area' during and after the construction in the interestof the appearance of the area and nature conservation."

Drawing 92/FTL/SG/S/02 Revision B can still be viewed online among the documents associatedwith planning application 06/05079/F. The area designated as a nature conservation area isincluded in the area when it is proposed, under this new application 21/00346/VC, to fell at least12 trees and reduce the tree canopy of others.

The only reasons given in the application are:"Remove due to low amenity value" and "appropriate management" for thinning and crown work.These reasons, while possibly acceptable if the area was being managed as a town garden, arenot appropriate when an area is being managed for nature conservation.

The City of Bristol has declared an ecological emergency. The tree species are native, supportinga wide range of invertebrates including pollinators, fungi, lichens, reptiles including slowworms andcommon lizards, small mammals and birds; they contribute to a habitat for badger, deer and foxes.The area provides a wildlife corridor which would be severely impacted by the loss of the majorityof its tree canopy. The wildlife that use Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve would have their areaof movement, feeding and breeding reduced by the loss of the habitat currently provided by theland of 94 Fir Tree lane.

Inevitably there will also be an impact on ground cover, also valuable for wildlife, while the worksare being carried out, whether intentional or not. The works as a whole may affect the stability ofthe entire slope, impacting the houses below.

The particular wildlife referenced in the permission for planning application 06/05079/F werebadgers. The Badger Report of July 2007, on which condition 10 was based says, in summary,that there were badger paths over the land of 92 and what became 94 Fir Tree Lane and theyneeded to be protected from human access. The report stated the badgers' "main sett" was 70metres away at Troopers Hill and "it remains very active and surveyed recently by MurrayBracewell on behalf of Friends of Troopers Hill". This is the sett where substantial works werecarried out, under licence, in 2010, funded by Bristol City Council, to protect the sett. We cansupply online photos and details of this work if required.

The badger sett on Troopers Hill still remains very active and we have video evidence, filmed onthe morning of Monday 8th February, of a badger within yards of the sett. We can also provideevidence of a badger hit by a car in December. We are in communication with highways aboutmore wildlife warning signs on Troopers Hill Rd.

In view of the possible impact on wildlife it would seem reasonable, prior to a decision being made,that the applicant arranges for appropriate ecological surveys and advice to be given, not solelyrestricted to badgers. It should be noted that the tree species listed for felling include speciesrecommended in the badger report as forage for badgers.

Bearing in mind the Red Data Book 1 and nationally rare species of invertebrates that have been

recorded on Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve, it would be advisable to include an invertebratessurvey.

We ask that the planning officer in this case makes it a conditions that the ecological reports aredone and reviews the results of the surveys and advice prior to making a decision.

While impact on a view is not usually grounds for objection to a planning application we must pointout that Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve has thousands of visitors who enjoy a view thatincludes the slopes above Troopers Hill Rd, including the land of 94 Fir Tree Lane. The site,Troopers Hill and much of the surrounding area is part of the Avon Valley Conservation area. Itwas designated a conservation area because of its special characteristics. The mix of trees andhousing is a particular characteristic of this valley view. It would be inappropriate to substantiallyalter the landscape in this way.

The comments above link, at a minimum, to Bristol Core Strategy Policies BCS9 and BCS22 andLocal Plan policies DM15, DM17 and DM19.

If permission is given to carry out these arboricultural works we ask that the works be carried outin a manner that is in accordance with ecological advice.

on 2021-02-09   OBJECT

I totally disagree with this planning application. These trees are in a conservationist area& nature trail. There is a lot of wildlife, ie Bats, Owls, Badgers, squirrels & Deers to name a few,these animals will diminish if their habitat is cut down. a The trees are nicely established &beautiful sight, the trees have been there longer than the property, this will also takeaway from theprivacy of the residents on troopers hill road that are overlooked

on 2021-02-09   OBJECT

on 2021-02-08   OBJECT

Dear Ruth, I am emailing re planning application 21/00346/VC. I am really concerned about trees being felled in a conservation area, so close to troopers hill which is such an important site for the wider area - both for wildlife and also for residents from a wider area to visit and enjoy nature. I really enjoy walking/ cycling from my home in Easton to troopers hill, because it is an escape from dense urban surrounds. Trees are an important part of that journey because of their impact on how the environment looks and sounds, and because of the wildlife they support. Trees don't just affect wildlife in their precise location but also form part of corridors for wildlife in the local area. I am also concerned about the impact on air quality of felling trees for the purpose of building property, in an area where air quality is a significant health issue for the whole population. I would be very grateful if you could look into this application and pass on my objections. Many Thanks,Emma Boyes

on 2021-02-07   OBJECT

Felling trees in this area is surely in contradiction to Bristol City Council's recent "OneCity Ecological Emergency Strategy" which vows to help nature recovery by preserving &increasing wildlife corridors by 2030

on 2021-02-06   OBJECT

I am concerned about the adverse effect the removal of these trees will have on thelocal wildlife.

on 2021-02-06   OBJECT

An application to fell 13 trees in a conservation area?? We have owls, deer, foxes,badgers aswell as a number of birds!Really poor idea.

on 2021-02-06   OBJECT

I strongly oppose the proposed planning and subsequent felling of trees. It is home to acorridor of wildlife and would therefore diminish the landscape and harm the chances ofbiodiversity within this small patch of land. I will be writing to the council in the hope of stoppingthis.

on 2021-02-06   OBJECT

This is a nature reserve and the trees are needed for the existing wildlife in the area

on 2021-02-06   OBJECT

6/2/2021Application number 21/00346/VC

I object to this application to fell trees on Fir Tree Lane,St George, Bristol.

I object as these trees are part of an important wildlife corridor extending from Troopers Hill Naturereserve, and surrounds, through to Dundridge Park and then onwards further and also down toConham and the river.

Many animals and birds use this corridor for feeding, breeding and shelter and the removal of thetrees in Fir Tree Lane will remove an important part of this corridor.

Many wildlife habitats are being lost to urban developments and it is vitally important to stop thisdevastation.

These trees are in a conservation area and should be protected and left for nature to allow it tothrive.

on 2021-02-05   OBJECT

With numerous bats spotted and therefore assumed to be living in the area of treesidentified to be felled, I believe this work could be detrimental to conservation in the area. This isalso an important badger corridor.

on 2021-01-31  

I have registered on the Bristol City Council website to receive email alerts of planningapplications in a specific area and changes to those applications. I was perturbed yesterday toreceive an email where the description, taken from the "Proposal" line on the detail tab of thisonline version of the application had changed to"See application form for details. - 94 Fir Tree Lane Bristol BS5 8BJ"from"Hawthorn (T1). 3m crown height reduction. Re-shape crown. Hawthorn (T2). 2m crown heightreduction. Re-shape crown. 3 no. Damson (G3). Fell Ash (T4). Fell. 2 No. Hawthorn (G5). 2mcrown height reduction. Re-shape crown. Blackthorn (T6). Re-coppice. Dogwood (T7). Removedue to low amenity value. Sycamore (T8). Fell. Hawthorn (T9).Fell. Sycamore (T10). Fell. Plum(T11). Fell Plum (T12). Fell. Sycamore (T13). Crown clean. 20% crown thin. 2m Crown reduction.awthorn (T14). Fell' Plum (T15). Fell Ash (T16). Fell. Cherry (T17). 3m crown height reduction. Re-shape crown, Crown clean. - 94 Fir Tree Lane Bristol BS5 8BJ "If the original description was too long for other purposes please could it be amended to "Fell andreshape trees - 94 Fir Tree lane, Bristol BS5 8BJ". This would be more informative for peopleviewing lists of applications.Many thanks.

on 2021-01-28   OBJECT

I object to this planning application for the reasons already outlined by Susan Campbellon her already submitted application and also because the trees due for removal directly bordermy property and allow privacy from the residents of Fir Tree Lane who's properties overlook bothmy garden and the rear of my house. Without these tree these residents have a clear andunobstructed view into my living space including my son's bedroom and my bathroom as well asinto my living room. The security light used by (number 94?) already light up my son's bedroomregularly and without the natural barrier of trees and bushes this will only get worse. We, alongwith our immediate neighbours, have all undertaken gardening works during lockdown and thegardens are now much more widely in use because of this, again the trees provide necessaryprivacy for all in the area. The wildlife would certainly be impacted negatively by the removal ofany trees and greenery and the 'badger ally' would all but disappear. We have seen dozens ofspecies of birds along with deer, badgers and foxes and this is something that should beencouraged and not deminished by the unnecessary removal of plants, trees and greenery. Theaggressive attitude of at least one of the Fir Tree lane residents is often confrontational and assuch, the hawthorns etc provide a degree of separation from him. I strongly object to the removalof any trees or bushes in this conservation area.

on 2021-01-26   OBJECT

I object to this application.

Prior to making a decision on this application for permission for tree works, the planning officershould take into account item 10 in the notice of decision for planning application 06/05079/F, forbuilding 94 Fir Tree Lane, which reads:

"The 'Conservation Area' and badger corridor shown on drawing number 92/FTL/SG/S/02Revision B shall be protected during the course of construction by 1.8m high protective fencingalong the line of the 1.8m high closeboarded boundary fence unless otherwise agreed in writing bythe Local Planning Authority. Thereafter a 1.8m high close boarded fence shall be erected and the'Conservation Area' managed in full accordance with the Badger Report dated 11 July 2007 unlessotherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason: In order to protect the 'Conservation Area' during and after the construction in the interestof the appearance of the area and nature conservation."

The drawing referred to is accessible online via planning application 06/05079/F and appears tocover the area shown in the arboricultural report for this application 21/00346/CONV.The Badger Report does not appear to be visible online, I take this to be in accordance with Bristol

City Council's usual policy not to publicise the location of badger setts. I would however,appreciate a copy for my own personal records.

The planning officer may consider it worthwhile to carry out a site visit to full appreciate thesteepness of the site and the value of the nature conservation area.

No valid reason is given for felling/removing 10 trees on a site that is not a garden but aconservation area, therefore there seems no reason for this action to be taken. The description"Remove due to low amenity value" is given on the application form. This is not a valid reason in anature conservation area.

Given the information I have supplied, if permission is given to carry out these arboricultural works,I would ask that appropriate advice is given for the works to be carried out in a manner that willcontinue to conserve the site as a nature conservation area, in accordance with the originalplanning permission, 06/05079/F and the Badger report dated 11 July 2007.