Draft 'Best practice guidance on Tree Management Plans'

This is the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Forum's 'Best practice guidance on Tree Management Plans'.  It should be read alongside 'Policy KBR39: Trees' in the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Plan (the KNP, Neighbourhood Plan or the Plan).

In preparing the Neighbourhood Plan, the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Forum (the Forum, KNF or Neighbourhood Forum) has produced best practice guidance on matters such as community engagement, construction standards and procedures and Tree Management Plans.  These were consulted upon during the Regulation 14 and Regulation 16 consultations on the Neighbourhood Plan [and adopted subsequently by the Neighbourhood Forum on [date]].

Where this guidance includes matters that relate to planning applications rather than procedural matters, they will be treated as material considerations.  Unlike the Neighbourhood Plan, however, they do not have development plan status.

Policy KBR39 (Trees) encourages, but does not require, proposals to fell, prune, maintain, replace or plant trees to do so in accordance with a Tree Management Plan (TMP).  It may be required for major development.  A TMP should:

  1. include a vision statement consistent with the requirements of Policy KBR39 (Trees);
  2. identify and address the risks and opportunities of the unique urban forest in the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Area including the need to avoid the catastrophic loss of some or all of this valuable asset through disease, pests or climate change;
  3. be based on an evidence base acquired using a recognised urban forest audit system such as i-Tree Eco 6.  Factors such as species, age class, distribution, tree health, asset value and ecosystem service benefits should be included;
  4. outline the strategic plan for achieving the vision and complying with the principles of Policy KBR39 (Trees) over the lifetime of the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Plan and in accordance with the governance arrangements for the property or Local Green Space including financing;
  5. outline a delivery plan to achieve the strategic aims outlined in the Tree Management Plan that includes specific recommendations for the maintenance, removal and replacement of larger trees on the property or within the Local Green Space;
  6. support the use of quiet electric lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other tools when technically feasible and commercially viable and commit not to use bonfires or other burning onsite;
  7. be endorsed by a Competent Person experienced in urban forests, such as an Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant, with a written statement that the Tree Management Plan complies to the best of their knowledge with the requirements of this policy and other applicable planning policies, legislation and regulation for trees in the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Area;
  8. include a commitment to monitor and report progress on the delivery of the plan each year on a website or in a publicly available document such as a newsletter;
  9. acknowledge that if the Tree Management Plan is not updated within five years of adoption it will expire on the fifth anniversary of its adoption; and
  10. include a commitment to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the management of the relevant trees or space will comply with the principles of Policy KBR39 (Trees) and the TMP.

A Tree Management Plan may be produced on behalf of the residents or organisation responsible for managing a property or Local Green Space in the Neighbourhood Area.  The TMP should be owned by them and will be considered adopted when it is approved in writing by Westminster City Council (WCC) or a suitable Competent Person.  WCC should be invited to comment on or approve a TMP within a reasonable period e.g. two months.

Notes

The Neighbourhood Plan's 'Appendix A: Glossary' includes definitions e.g. Competent Person and Local Green Space.

For the avoidance of doubt, an Officer employed by The Royal Parks is among those considered to be a suitable Competent Person for this policy.

Evidence supporting TMPs can be found here.

Published on 11 May 2018.