Publication: Pre-Submission Gloucester City Plan

Pre-Submission City Plan

Policy E4: Trees, woodlands and hedgerows

Development proposals should seek to ensure there are no significant adverse impacts on existing trees, woodlands or hedgerows and that every opportunity is taken for appropriate new planting on site. In the case of an unavoidable significant adverse impact on trees, woodlands and hedgerows, the developer must provide for measurable biodiversity net gain on site, or if this is not possible:

  1. At nearby Green Infrastructure projects/areas; or
  2. In suitable areas of parks, open spaces, verges; or
  3. Through the restoration or creation of traditional orchards, prioritising sites identified as opportunities for increasing the connectivity of the ecological network; or
  4. As new or replacement street trees.

Development which would result in the loss of irreplaceable habitats such as Ancient Woodland, Ancient Trees and veteran trees* will not be permitted except in wholly exceptional circumstances.

On development sites where existing trees to be retained, applicants will be required to demonstrate how these trees will be protected through all phases of development. It is expected that the protection measures will adhere to those contained within BS 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction - recommendations, or subsequent revisions.

All new planting, either on site or elsewhere in the city as part of biodiversity net gain must be provided to the satisfaction of the City Council.

3.5.18 The City Council recognises the many benefits which woodlands, orchards, hedgerows and trees generally bring to the city. Trees and hedgerows are an important part of the city's landscape having cultural and biodiversity significance, amenity value and providing cooling effects in urban areas. Tree planting can reduce the impacts of air pollution, the impacts of climate change and global warming and improve health and wellbeing of the community.

3.5.19 The basis of this policy is a strong commitment to increase tree cover across Gloucester and to increase the number of street trees and trees in parks and areas of Green Infrastructure where there is scope to do so. Likewise, it is important that trees and hedgerows, as natural assets, are preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. Net gain and mitigation planting, depending on location, will generally be required to be locally appropriate native species.

3.5.20 In terms of street trees, the Council considers that, given the significant benefits which trees afford to all residents of the city, technical solutions are available to address concerns such as pavement heave or issues of reduced visibility and mobility.

* Veteran trees are defined as 'trees that are of interest biologically, culturally or aesthetically because of their age, size or condition' (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; Ancient trees and veteran trees: protecting them from development', 2019).