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Arboricultural Implication Study

An arboricultural implication study is also known as:  Arboricultural Impact Assessment, Arboricultural Implication Assessment, Arboricultural Impact Appraisal, Pre-Development Assessment.

An Arboricultural Implication Study (AIS)  is a type of tree survey that considers how a proposed development and its associated trees will co-exist and interact in the present and future.  An AIS is a document that many Local Planning Authorities (LPA) are now requesting as part of a planning application; they need to satisfy themselves that factors such as root protection, changes in levels, installation of services, material storage, etc. have been considered during the development layout and that these items will not prove detrimental to important trees.  They also need to ensure that future issues, such as the long term effects of changing a surface level or the future need to prune or remove trees because they cast excessive shade or encroach upon property, are addressed and avoided.

The carrying out of an AIS is recommended at an early stage within the planning process as it can identify and remove potential conflicts between the trees and the requirements of the development.  This in turn can save the planners much time and money since major site layout modifications are kept to a minimum.  Additionally, other important features such as ancient hedgerows and special habitats can be identified at an early stage.

Items to consider during an AIS.

  • Tree root protection (distances, engineering specifications)
  • Changes in levels
  • Changes in surfaces
  • Installation and layout of services
  • Demolition of existing buildings, surfaces
  • Exposure due to tree removal
  • Sunlight and shading
  • Construction site access
  • Construction site layout (offices, parking)
  • Construction site materials storage
  • Fruit production (fouling footpaths)
  • Planting (species selection e.g.  thorns near footpaths)
  • Insects (honeydew), birds, bats

When trees and development are forced together, conflicts can arise.  Once these conflicts have been addressed, ways to minimise the problems need to be discussed.

An AIS may also need to contain copies (or extracts) of site plans, tree survey schedules, diagrams, photographs, draft copy of a method statement.