Trees are a very important and vital resource of landscape throughout urban and rural Northern Ireland. They provide us with oxygen, improve air quality, stabilise soil, give life to a variety of wildlife, support flora and fauna and ultimately contribute to the health and well-being of us all. They provide both aesthetic and amenity values which contribute to character of place, provide screening and privacy, add colour and seasonal interest and provide attractive green vistas. Trees can also act as important landmark features creating a sense of place and contributing to the character of both urban settlements and rural areas.
The Council has a duty in relation to the preservation of trees where appropriate, and in exercising its planning powers will ensure that appropriate and adequate provision is made for the preservation or planting of trees. The Council will also make provision for the preservation of trees or woodlands within the borough where it considers that it is expedient in the interests of amenity.
Trees are sensitive and can be easily damaged and destroyed. The impact of development in close proximity to, ground works and storage of materials around, and changes in ground levels adjacent to, a tree can impact greatly on its health and condition. Careful precautions should be taken to avoid soil compaction and root damage. It is important that trees are protected by appropriate tree protection measures to prevent such damage. This is especially important at an early design stage of development proposals and during the construction phase whether approved by a planning permission or when carrying out ‘permitted development’.
Further guidance on the protection of trees can be found within the document ‘Trees and Development – A Guide To Best Practice
and British Standard BS5837:2012: Trees in relation to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations.
Ards and North Down Borough Council is committed to conserving and protecting trees which provide an amenity and will use its powers to do so where necessary.
The Council is responsible for a number of forms of protection that can be afforded to trees. These include protection through a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), protection through Conservation Area designation and protection via a planning condition which may be attached to a planning approval.