JP Associates provides independent and trusted consultancy for arboricultural issues, invasive plants and land and habitats. Our services are split into three specialist areas offering solutions to clients of all sizes:
Provides a full range of arboricultural services - from tree safety inspections and population surveys to woodland management plans including pest and disease control.
Works in partnership with you at every stage of a project to help you achieve your development objectives, while taking account of your site’s natural setting, the constraints posed by trees and your regulatory obligations.
Advises on the planning, management and conservation of land used for agriculture, botanical, leisure or conservation activities, including the control of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and ragwort.
British Standard 5837: 2012 ‘Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction - Recommendations’ sets out the arboricultural process that should be followed wherever development is proposed next to existing trees. It gives recommendations on assessing the quality of existing tree stock and offers guidance on how trees might be safely and harmoniously retained within a scheme by identifying and reflecting their associated constraints. It also contains guidance on how retained trees should be protected during demolition and development.
We offer the complete range of arboricultural consultancy services specified in the Standard – designed to follow the RIBA building stages - and can, when required, act as part of a development team working with architects, surveyors, engineers, landscape architects and ecologists. JP Associates’ services include:
Knotweed is an invasive species that should be regarded as a form of contamination with implications for both the natural and built environments. It can penetrate weaknesses in concrete and tarmac and damage the integrity of even large structures.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is illegal to spread Japanese knotweed, and the Environment Agency (EA) guidelines put the onus on developers to treat knotweed responsibly. Unfortunately, knotweed is extremely resilient and has the ability to lie dormant for a decade or more - even when just a tiny part of its rhizome is left in the soil - which means it is almost impossible to eradicate completely. Therefore, effective treatment and disposal of the plant, and the soil in which it is found, demand the skills of someone who fully understands knotweed and its behaviour.
JP Associates has devised an effective four-stage strategy that incorporates initial investigation and identification, site management and disposal, development design and ongoing monitoring. This management plan is in line with RICS guidance and accepted best practice and should satisfy mortgage lenders.
Various statutes and regulations have established the level of duty of care required from owners or managers of land containing trees to ensure that foreseeable damage does not occur due to tree failure. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, owners or managers of commercial premises have the additional obligation to undertake regular tree surveys.
JP Associates’ tree reports will help you meet your legal and moral duties. A first step is often the cataloguing of all your tree assets, which can involve plotting them onto a GIS-based map, and a survey to assess their condition. This is typically followed by the development of an effective management plan that accounts for the condition and mix of trees in your care as well as the landowner’s long-term management objectives.
The Arborcheck system enables JP Associates to provide the most sophisticated assessment of tree health in our field. There are two parts to the equipment:
The soil compaction tester, known as a penetrometer, allows us to test for soil compaction around trees where, for example, there has been significant footfall or around retained trees on development sites that may not have been adequately protected during works. The tester takes readings – measured in pounds per square inch (psi) - at varying soil depths from three to 18 inches, thus giving a clear picture of the extent of the problem. The results will enable us to recommend suitable remedial actions to improve the condition of the soil and promote better tree health.
With the increased focus on multi-purpose woodland, there are now many more strands to its effective management: landscape amenity value, wildlife and public access all now have to be considered. As arboricultural specialists, JP Associates has the knowledge and experience to help you cost-efficiently plan, protect and profit from your wooded property.
Tree protection plans (TPPs), along with method statements, are the culmination of the BS 5837 survey process. TPPs indicate the trees that are to be felled, shows the trees that are to be retained and their root protection areas (RPAs) and details the appropriate type of protection barrier to be erected. Where necessary they will also include details of the location and specification for temporary ground protection, and give notes on site access and any other information required to protect the retained trees.
JP Associates has the knowledge to help you balance your trees, hedges, land, water, biodiversity and other environmental resources to meet your needs legally, safely and profitably.
Tree protection plans and method statements are usually conditioned as part of planning consent. Once a development gets underway it is vital for clients to ensure tree work, tree protection measures and work methods are implemented as per the approved plans. JP Associates can act as project managers and will carry out regular site visits to monitor progress, sign off tree work as it is completed satisfactorily and provide site inspection reports where required. We maintain close links with the arborist sector and can advise on a suitable, experienced contractor if necessary.
The Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) system applies proven risk management principles to tree safety management. Instead of focusing solely on a surveyor's descriptive assessment of a tree's condition, it takes into account its condition plus its value and risk to the site and the users of that site, then numerically quantifies the level of risk on an industry-accepted scale. This is particularly useful for those in charge of large tree stocks. Two of JP Associates' arboricultural consultants are QTRA licence holders with 13 years' combined experience of QTRA inspections.
Local authorities may require developers to provide separate evidence showing the impact of all retained trees and the necessary mitigation. JP Associates' arboricultural impact assessments (AIAs) draw on both our planning and arboricultural expertise to meet this need.
Local Planning Authorities often require a landscape scheme as part of an application or as a planning condition. With its expertise in arboriculture, as well as a comprehensive understanding of planning requirements, JP Associates can help you devise planting schemes that support both your site’s setting and any objectives such as screening, enhancement, habitat provision or timber production.
We can also draw up detailed schedules, develop contracts and supervise any work.
Our plant health surveying work for the Forestry Commission has kept us up-to-date with P&D developments so we are well placed to help you manage your stock and plan for potential problems as effectively as possible.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are written orders administered by local planning authorities (usually the local council, or National Park authority) that make it a criminal offence to wilfully damage or destroy (including prune or fell) a tree or area of trees deemed to offer 'significant amenity benefit'. TPOs put a legal charge on the property or site concerned, although it is possible for them to be superseded by full planning permission or, very occasionally, reversed by a local authority in exceptional circumstances.
If you want to object to a TPO it has to be done within 28 days of the order being made. Thereafter if you want to carry out work to a protected tree, whether for development or tree health and maintenance reasons, you need to apply to the authority that issued the order.
JP Associates can lodge an objection for you if required, submit a TPO application for work, or simply advise you on what applications might be appropriate or most likely to get approval. If an application for work is unsuccessful, it is possible to appeal that decision and we can help you through this process.
If planning consent is granted there are usually conditions concerning the retained trees, and we can advise you on how best to discharge those conditions. When we have been involved in a project from the outset and planning consent is refused due to a perceived impact on trees, JP Associates can act for the client throughout the appeal.
In every development of any size there are usually areas of Public Open Space (POS) – the extent and location of POS within a development is usually in accordance with planning policy and is agreed with the Local Planning Authority (LPA) as part of the planning negotiations or S.106 agreement. The design and layout of the POS areas is agreed as part of the general planning discussions: they are included on the planning layout and will become part of the approved development.
The POS areas usually remain under the control of the developer during construction and will then be adopted by either the LPA or a management company (depending on the agreements and circumstances of each project). JP Associates can assist the developer in delivering the POS to the agreed design/specification and to the agreed timescale. This will often involve inspecting the POS areas, agreeing a schedule of works needed with either the LPA or the management company and then project managing its delivery.
Over the years JP Associates has built up a network of arboricultural, landscape and groundworks contractors as well as relationships with LPA officers and management companies, helping us to deliver POS areas efficiently.
Mortgage companies often insist that a pre-purchase tree survey is undertaken to assess potential risk to persons or property when:
JP Associates' arboriculturists understand the implications of the built environment meeting the natural world. Our recommendations – in conjunction with other specialists such as structural engineers where necessary - can help you address any risks swiftly and satisfactorily to enable the purchase of your new home to proceed.
When considering a large, technically complex or contentious development, a Local Planning Authority will consider the long-term visual impact it will have on the landscape. It will often request a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) as part of the application to help it assess the overall significance of a major development to its environment.
An LVIA is a recognised evaluation process that takes into account both the magnitude of change proposed and the sensitivity of the landscape. With its landscape experience, JP Associates can help you understand and therefore work sensitively with the character and value of your site and its surrounds so that you can put forward a justifiable case for approval.
An arboricultural method statement (AMS), which is often a condition of planning consent, details how construction works near trees are to be carried out to ensure they are safeguarded. As well as detailing any necessary tree surgery, the AMS contains a timetable of works adjacent to trees, and specifies how trees, and their root systems in particular, will be protected during this activity - for example with protective fencing, hand excavation within tree protection zones, or site supervision by the project arboriculturist. It may also include specification for the design of protective fencing, trenching methods, location of bonfires or chemicals, etc. If trees are to be planted, it will describe their storage and site preparation. Our method statements are sufficiently thorough to be acceptable to a planning authority, easy for you, the client, to understand and practical to execute.
The majority of development proposals have the potential to impact on local biodiversity in some way - either through direct loss of habitat or by compromising the habitat’s ability to support its dependent species. Several pieces of legislation, including The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, provide legal protection for a variety of creatures, particularly nesting birds. This has significant legal ramifications for all landowners, whether primarily a developer, farmer or conservationist.
We can arrange an ecological survey to help you establish the flora and fauna populations on your land. This will provide valuable guidance – and defence – for any work you wish to undertake and will ensure that:
Engineers often require tree-related information when designing building foundations to determine the correct foundation depth to resist subsidence. NHBC chapter 4.2 Building near Trees gives guidance on meeting the technical requirements when building near trees, hedgerows and shrubs, particularly in shrinkable soils.
Where required JP Associates’ arborists will carry out surveys in accordance with NHBC specifications to identify tree species and heights so that the zone of tree influence (as it relates to water demand and soil type) can be determined.
Veteran or ancient trees are important because of their biological, aesthetic and cultural interest due to their age. They provide habitat for a range of organisms such as fungi, insects and birds, and are a valuable resource that should be preserved or enhanced where possible.
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that veteran trees should have high importance in the planning process and therefore veterans found on potential construction sites need particularly careful assessment and management so that they can be successfully and safely retained within new development. However retaining veteran trees on a development site is often a complicated and politically charged issue: JP Associates will advise on how best to deal with veteran trees based on the latest specialist guidance and according to each project.