Colchester North Western Growth Area

Project Description
Hayden’s were commissioned to undertake an Arboricultural Assessment  (Arboricultural Constraints Plan, Arboricultural Impact Assessment, Arboricultural Method Statement and Tree Protection Plan) for a master planning exercise and planning application for the Colchester North Western Growth Area. A major urban extension project comprising up to 2,400 residential units, commercial education and employment sectors and associated infrastructure. The Arboricultural Constraints Plan formed a key element of the embryonic stages of the design as the historic trees, woodlands and hedgerow formed not only key landscape elements within and surrounding the site but also the existing field pattern and associated trees and hedges dictated the internal design and transport infrastructure.

Hayden’s Requirements

  • Site visit and detailed inspection of trees, woodlands and hedges.
  • Preparation of Arboricultural (Tree) Constraints Plan.
  • Liaison with project/design team comprising client, architect, planning consultant, landscape architects, ecologists and highways consultants.
  • Preparation of Arboricultural Impact Assessment on finalised layout.
  • Preparation of Tree Protection Plan.
  • Preparation of literature and plans and attendance at public exhibition.

Project Challenges
The site comprised a large number of mature/over-mature specimens of extremely high visual amenity within historic hedges, forming a key element within the local landscape, Consequently, to ensure the retention of these trees, as well as the ongoing health and safety of future residents on the site, site design and layout was essential. In response to this a network of ‘green’ corridors were designed to give up to 30m either side of the trees. The high public interest and objection to the project required a discrete and diplomatic approach to the project, both during the tree inspection stage and the public exhibition.  Clear and accurate presentation of the proposed tree management on the site ensured that concerns raised about the loss of trees were allayed.

All of the above has lead to the proposal being supported by the local planning authority.

Project particulars

  • Client – Mersea Homes

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