The Local Plan for the Broads: Issues and Options Consultation

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14. Trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs

14.1 Introduction | 14.2 What the NPPF says | 14.3 Issues | 14.4 Options

14.1 Introduction

Trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs are integral to the Broads landscape and add great beauty, sense of place and character. Trees and woodlands enhance the visual landscape and provide important landmarks, complementing the natural and built environment by providing screening, perspective, focal points, privacy and seclusion and defining and separating public open spaces. They also provide habitats for an exceptional range of wildlife, and form a ‘carbon sink’ helping to absorb and store and counteract the harmful effect of climate change.

We are also aware that in some locations, trees may not be welcomed due to possible negative impacts, such as on navigation, disturbance to peatlands, and landscape. Indeed, some areas of the Broads have a character that is open, giving vast views. In terms of the impact on navigation, trees by the edge of waterways can reduce the wind available for sailing. Trees can also encroach and even fall into the waterways, creating the need for tree management. It is also noted that the wrong types of tree would not be beneficial to the Broads. This emphasises the importance of the mantra ‘the right tree in the right place’.

14.2 What the NPPF says

The NPPF at paragraph 131 says: ‘trees make an important contribution to the character and quality of urban environments, and can also help mitigate and adapt to climate change. Planning policies and decisions should ensure that new streets are tree-lined, that opportunities are taken to incorporate trees elsewhere in developments (such as parks and community orchards), that appropriate measures are in place to secure the long-term maintenance of newly-planted trees, and that existing trees are retained wherever possible. Applicants and local planning authorities should work with highways officers and tree officers to ensure that the right trees are planted in the right places, and solutions are found that are compatible with highways standards and the needs of different users.’

14.3 Issues

On occasion, trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs are affected by development.

We already have policy DM13 that is a Natural Environment policy, and DM8 that relates to Green Infrastructure.

We wonder if a policy on trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs will further the Authority’s aim to preserve the variety, number and quality of trees and woodland within the Broads Authority Executive Area and to ensure that development contributes to the maintenance or enhancement of the tree and woodland cover of the Broads.

14.4 Options

  1. No specific policy. Rely on DM8 and DM13.
  2. Amend policies DM8 and DM13 to include a greater emphasis on trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs.
  3. Have a new policy on the subject of trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs. This would include management, maintenance and protection of existing trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs, as appropriate, or creation of new areas for trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs.

Question 13: Do you have any thoughts on trees, woodlands, hedges and shrubs and how we address these in the Local Plan?