Tree Removal and Replacement Policy
This policy was adopted by the Council at its meeting held on 27th February 2019 – Minute Ref. 19/27d. For review annually.
West Bergholt Parish Council is responsible for approximately 150 trees within West Bergholt parish through its role as a Council and as Sole Trustee of several open spaces within the village. The areas covered are:
- Lorkin Daniell Field (Trust Land)
- Poor’s Land (Trust Land)
- Heath/Village Green (Trust Land)
- Allotments (Trust Land)
- Mumford Close approach to Lorkin Daniell Field
The objective of this policy is to preserve, enhance and develop attractive areas of public open space under the control of West Bergholt Parish Council, while minimising the risk to public safety and property.
West Bergholt Parish Council is committed to managing the trees within its public open spaces to ensure the history and amenity of the region is preserved and enhanced for future generations.
In formulating this policy, the Council recognises the significant contribution trees make to our scenic amenity and the important role trees play in providing:
- shade and cooling;
- habitat for local wildlife and corridors for wildlife movement;
- consumption of carbon dioxide and production of oxygen;
- wind reduction and noise abatement;
- filter rainwater and reduce storm runoff;
- improved property value;
- a contribution to cultural history and local identity.
The Council also recognises the risk trees pose to people and property, particularly during storms. It is the Council’s intention to minimise these risks and the possible consequences.
This policy provides clear guidelines for how and when trees located on land under Council control will be removed and/or replaced. The following principles will apply:
- Residents will not be permitted to damage, remove or cause the removal of trees from land under Council control and in such cases, the Council may initiate legal action;
- All requests for tree removal will be assessed by arboriculture qualified contractors;
- Trees will only be removed if one or more of the following criteria are met:
- The structural condition of the tree poses a high risk to persons or property and the cost of maintaining or remediating the risk to a low level is considered excessive;
- The tree is dead, or the health of the tree is in irreversible decline;
- The roots or other parts of the tree are causing damage to property and the damage caused by the tree cannot be reasonably abated or remedied through accepted arboricultural treatment;
- The tree is hazardous to motorists or pedestrians due to obstruction of sightlines causing unsafe traffic or pedestrian environment;
- The tree is contributing to a widespread environmental issue and whilst the tree itself may be resistant it may be hosting something which will spread to other plants (e.g. Honey Fungus);
- The tree is in danger of contact with overhead powerlines and selective pruning is not practical.
- The following are not considered sufficient reasons for the removal of trees from land under Council control:
- Improve views from a private property;
- The tree variety is disliked;
- The tree is blocking the sun or solar access to a property;
- The tree causes allergy or other health problems;
- The tree is causing leaf litter problems for private properties or gutters;
- Where a tree, having met the above criteria, is removed from land under Council control it will be replaced with a suitable species, if possible, in a location as close as practically possible to the original site.
Where a tree, having met the above criteria, is proposed to be removed from a position which will directly affect surrounding properties, owners will be notified prior to the tree being removed, unless it has been determined that the tree poses an immediate and high risk to persons or property. Otherwise, notification of tree removal will take place through appropriate media outlets.
The Environment Committee, subject to the Council’s Financial Regulations and budgetary considerations, or in emergencies, the Parish Clerk, have the delegated authority to authorise the removal and replacement of trees under this policy.
 Note: The Council referred to throughout this policy is West Bergholt Parish Council