I am lucky enough to work all over the country.
This entails working within different Local Planning Authorities whose approach to trees and planning varies significantly. Some Authorities do not have a Tree Officer and the need for arboricultural information will often be at the discretion of the Planning Officer. In other Authority areas, you will not even get your Application registered without a tree report.
As trees are a material consideration at planning – not to mention an important part of our environmental toolkit and landscape character – it seems only right that an Applicant must demonstrate why their proposal should be acceptable.
There is clearly a (lot of) difference between a householder application for an extension and a major development by a volume house builder. And this is sometimes reflected in the approach taken by the LPA when setting the standard or requirement for arboricultural assessment.
But it is the trees who must make the difference, not the proposal.
For example, you might have a significant and important Oak on land adjoining the householder site, whilst on the large-scale development, there may be little more than a few insignificant trees that with insufficient quality or value to dictate the layout.
A consistent approach is needed.