London Plan Chapter 7 2x1

Policy 7.21 Trees and woodlands

Policy

Strategic

A  Trees and woodlands should be protected, maintained, and enhanced, following the guidance of the London Tree and Woodland Framework (or any successor strategy). In collaboration with the Forestry Commission the Mayor has produced supplementary guidance on Tree Strategies to guide each borough’s production of a Tree Strategy covering the audit, protection, planting and management of trees and woodland. This should be linked to a green infrastructure strategy.

Planning decisions

B  Existing trees of value should be retained and any loss as the result of development should be replaced following the principle of ‘right place, right tree’[1]. Wherever appropriate, the planting of additional trees should be included in new developments, particularly large-canopied species.

LDF preparation

C  Boroughs should follow the advice of paragraph 118 of the NPPF to protect ‘veteran’ trees and ancient woodland where these are not already part of a protected site.

D  Boroughs should develop appropriate policies to implement their borough tree strategy.

[1]     London Tree and Woodland Framework. GLA 2005

Supporting text

7.64  Trees play an invaluable role in terms of the natural environment, air quality, adapting to and mitigating climate change and contributing to the quality and character of London’s environment. There are approximately seven million trees in London; a quarter in woodland. The Mayor is keen to see more trees and wants to see an increase in tree cover with an additional two million trees by 2025. Borough tree strategies can help to co-ordinate this work and the Mayor, with the Forestry Commission, has published Preparing Borough Tree and Woodland Strategies which provides advice on the audit, protection and management of trees and woodland. The Mayor has also funded a programme to plant an additional 10,000 street trees throughout London. Ancient woodland and individual veteran trees should be given protection as once lost they can never be replaced. Policy 7.19 gives protection to sites of nature conservation importance and this will apply to all areas of ancient woodland.

7.65  The Mayor has published the Tree and Woodland Framework[1] that promotes the guiding principle of ‘right place, right tree’, taking account of the context within which a tree is to be planted and addressing the issue of planting species appropriate to expected future climates. Assessment of an existing tree’s value should be derived using a combination of amenity assessment (BS5837) and a recognised tree valuation method (CAVAT or i-tree)[2] that also takes into account social, economic and environmental factors. In terms of tree planting on development sites, cost benefit analysis that recognises future tree value should be used to support the case for designing developments to accommodate trees that develop larger canopies. Boroughs should take this advice and the work of the Trees and Design Action group[3] into account in producing LDF policies and determining planning applications.

[1]     London Tree and Woodland Framework. GLA 2005

[2]  www.ltoa.org.uk
www.itreetools.org

[3] TDAG. The Canopy. London’s Urban Forest. A Guide for Designers, Planners and Developers. February 2011