Treework were appointed directly by the London Borough of Camden (LBC). Our role was to provide arboricultural support to their project team through the complete planning process.
Initially, it was a requirement that our team first undertake a tree survey of the site. We achieved this using our proprietary tree GIS with an integrated database, My Trees. We then carried out statutory checks (local searches for Tree Protection Orders and Conservation Areas) and delivered tree Constraint’s information to the Council’s Project Team. The information that we collected was presented to the team in various ways to inform the design process. Tree constraints information was supplied to LBC in a *.pdf format to enable high-level discussions about the vital tree constraints and opportunities and a format suitable for direct use within the council systems. We, therefore, provided a *.dwg file of the tree constraints plan to ensure a scaled and (geo) referenced version was available for rapid and efficient design updates and decisions.
The key to the project’s success was, in our opinion, due to how we engaged with the Council’s Project Team. We worked closely with the council team as if one of their staff. This collaborative approach meant that we could provide advice and discuss options with the project team where a proposed design conflicted with the trees recorded on site. Many of the trees were of high value or considered essential amenity trees. To deliver this higher-level advice in the most cost-effective way for the client, enabling them to manage their budget, we provided a fixed budget to draw from.
With the support of our in-house CAD/GIS Technicians, the Principal Arboricultural Consultant who led on this work, Alex Needs, delivered an Arboricultural Impact Assessment and supporting Tree Protection Plan to accompany the planning application for a disabled ramp through the gardens. Due to the nature and complexity of some of the issues, i.e., excavating near tree roots around sensitive (burial) areas, the AIA required detailed discussion with Camden to develop strategic decisions regarding the preferred treatment of those trees within the Arboricultural Impact Assessment report.
Treework then helped Camden Council to discharge conditions related to trees, post planning decision. The solution required us to update the Tree Protection Plan and to produce an Arboricultural Method Statement. The latter included a schedule for monitoring work at the site for the construction phase. The method statement and schedule needed to consider that work (around trees) would be undertaken on publicly accessible land, with free access at all times and occurring near public footpaths and busy roads.
Our involvement in the St. Pancras Gardens project began in October 2018. The handing over occurred in May 2021.