May 20 2014

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Basement development threat to trees

London Tree Officers Association May 2014-1The chair of the London Tree Officers Association, Jake Tibbetts (LTOA) has warned that pressure for new basement developments in London can compromise existing street and garden trees and make subsequent planting of large trees more difficult. Speaking to Horticultural Week he said that “The construction of these types of basements can impact on existing trees and the current pressure for development is huge. With rising property values and demand for new housing, tree officers are having to fight harder to retain the trees we have.”

While the Town & Country Planning Act affords some protection he pointed out that potential planting sites can be lost where no current trees exist because there is no material loss but inadequate soil depths mean reinstated green areas are unsuitable for large canopy trees. Some LTOA members are working on policy to restrict subterranean developments to 50 per cent of the front and back garden.

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