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Planting on New Developments

We regard landscaping as an essential element in the overall design of new development and an important factor in creating an environment which people can enjoy.

A good scheme can increase the prestige and value of the development to your clients. High quality planting along access roads, public spaces and in front gardens are key to creating a good first impression. Where possible (and especially outside private gardens), the advice on the landscape character planting guide should be followed.

Most applications for development require a landscape scheme.


The landscape scheme should indicate:

  1. An accurate survey and plan of all existing trees and hedges or other natural features showing both those to be retained and those to be removed. This should include the trunk diameter at 1.5m above ground level; this can be used to calculate the root protection area around the tree in accordance with BS:5837, Trees in relation to construction –Recommendations. In summary the radius around the tree which should be free from all construction activity is 12 times the diameter of the trunk, for more information you should consult an arboriculturist or suitably competent person. 
  2. A detailed planting plan showing the location of all new trees and shrubs. The plan should show the number and/or spacing of shrubs in each shrub bed or hedge. The botanical names (Latin names) of all trees and shrubs should be used (plant catalogues provide these). Here’s an example of a planting plan.
  3. A list of the trees and shrubs used should also be included on the planting plan indicating the total numbers of plants, together with their size at planting (height or spread for shrubs, height or girth for trees) and type of plant (i.e. pot grown or bare-root). An example of a planting schedule is included within the example planting plan above.
  4. Details of all other landscaping works including fences, walls, grassed areas, paths and other paved areas.
  5. Methods of protecting trees and other existing features during construction work if necessary.


The advice of a qualified landscape architect is recommended on larger sites or where consent has been given for the removal of trees to allow for development. Where consent has been given for felling trees we would be looking for extra tree or shrub planting to compensate for their loss. The success of a landscape scheme is only ensured by careful maintenance following planting.

Planning permission is usually granted on condition that the scheme is maintained to the satisfaction of the Borough Council for five years after planting. Any trees and shrubs which die or are damaged during this period should be replaced by the developer or owner.

Further Information

The Woodland Trust has published guidance on tree planting in residential developments that provides more information.



Documents to download

Useful links