Adur District Council changes to planning procedures
Adur District Council has amended its procedures so that councillors can impose tighter restrictions on tree felling in major developments. The new approach will mean that planning committees can specify that trees are to remain in place by attaching specific conditions to new planning permissions.
Developers would only be able to depart from this if they made a further application, which could then be called back to the committee by councillors to consider. Any trees on a site to be retained and new tree planting would be protected for at least five years after work is completed.
Developers will also have to carry out extra checks for utilities such as sewage pipes and electrical cables underneath land they intend to build on or undertake planting on before they get planning permission. This is to prevent them getting permission for projects featuring trees or vegetation that cannot then be planted because the ground is unsuitable.
The changes to the planning procedures are being made to ensure that the future of trees in the district can be reviewed at planning committee meetings. Previously, council officers could make decisions on requests for tree felling for those that were not protected.
Adur District Council member on tree felling issue
The issue was brought to the attention of Cllr Steve Neocleous, Adur’s executive member for regeneration, after a row of conifers were cut down at the Southern Housing development of 74 homes at The Mannings in Surry Street, Shoreham. Permission for the tree felling, with the planting of replacement trees, had been granted by officers without councillors being aware, in line with the procedure at that time.
Cllr Neocleous said: “These changes will help us protect our trees by making their retention a condition of new developments. I share the frustration of residents about the cutting down of the trees at The Mannings, which prompted me to ask for these changes.
“Everyone has the chance to have their say on whether major projects should happen. These changes will allow them to go further than that and remain involved in the process.”