UKTC Archive

RE: CAVAT / Net Gain

Subject: RE: CAVAT / Net Gain
From: Andrew Jones
Date: Jun 03 2019 15:59:52
Jim et al,

 I'm not sure that this is just about raising cash for LPA's - if it were it 
would surely fail the tests for a legal agreement (106) that is required to 
make an otherwise unacceptable development acceptable?

The Government's 25yr Environmental Plan states the intent to embed an 
'Environmental Net Gain' principal for development, and the NPPF already 
expects that development should provide for 'biodiversity net gain.'  The 
government has stated that they will be making biodiversity net gain 
mandatory through the forthcoming environment bill. 

Whilst NE/DEFRA are working on updating the 'biodiversity' metric to support 
this requirement (I have raised the issue of them already looking at how to 
ascribe biodiversity values for trees without further comment here) I 
strongly suspect that expansion of 'environmental net gain' will look to 
start ascribing all of the other various 'values' of trees into the mix.

Should trees not be valued for more than their aesthetic contribution to 
public amenity and what is the best available method (metric) to determine 
the 'environmental' value of trees? Have we got a better system than CAVAT 
that is widely accepted at present?

We know that tree removal comes at an environmental 'cost' so how do we take 
this into account or do we just continue to ignore it?

Developers should also be following the avoid/mitigate/compensate hierarchy - 
I rarely, if ever, see how this has been applied in respect of trees in 
relation to development.  Perhaps our arb impact assessments need to evolve 
to set out the 'value' of retained trees, trees to be removed , the likely 
value of trees to be planted on site (in mitigation) and how net gain will be 
delivered in association with the development?

<<My client has to agree to this before the application is validated!>> No.. 
I'm on your side their - not sure how that can be justified!

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jim Quaife
Sent: 03 June 2019 16:17
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: CAVAT

Given from the outset that CAVAT was a means of valuing a local authority's 
tree stock, we are finding that LPA's are now wanting to charge planning 
applicants for any trees which are removed as a consequence of a planning 
consent.   I have just got off the phone from a client who is expected to 
include this in a s106.
This is outrageous, and the purpose of CAVAT has been corrupted.
Some 18 months ago another client who was to be charged a six-figure sum for 
removing his trees threatened the LPA with a JR and strangely they backed off.
It is not as if most trees have any public amenity value, and if they have a 
TPO is usually a pecuniary encumbrance for the tree owner in any event.   So 
if a site gains planning consent including the removal of trees, the physical 
removal of them has to be paid for (OK that might only be a minor sum 
compared to the costs of development) but then the LPA trousers cash?
Is the inevitable progression that one has to pay CAVAT for a TPO which gains 
consent for removal? - after all, that is under the TCPA.
What are the experiences of others? (from both sides!)
Irritated of Westerham  aka Jim

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