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Tree specialists gather in London

by on November 21, 2013

I’m pleased to share a guest post by the Planning Portal’s head of LPA engagement Scott Alford…

Last week we held a tree event in partnership with the London Borough planning authorities and the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA).

The London Boroughs have been working with the Planning Portal to look at ways to improve the planning and tree services they provide and encourage all works to trees applications to be submitted online using the Planning Portal.

The event was for agents who currently submit on paper and by post and a varied audience turned up, including sole practitioners, family-run businesses to national tree companies that deal with a range of tree services.

Hosted by Westminster City Council in the salubrious Mayor’s suite in City Hall, Westminster, attendees were treated to fantastic views across London from the 18th floor of City Hall.

Saving time and money applying online

The event included presentations from the Planning Portal on the benefits of online submission and how to use the online service followed by John Lawson of Bartlett Tree Experts who spoke about the benefits they had realised from submitting all applications online via the Portal – some 1,700 applications each year!

A day in the life of a tree officer

Paul Akers of Westminster City Council gave a very interesting insight into ‘a day in life of a tree officer’ in one of the world’s busiest cities having worked for the Council since 1972 (that’s a lot of days!).

The City of Westminster has over 650 TPOs protecting thousands of trees covering over eight square miles.

Paul has seen a dramatic change in the built environment with more basement and roof garden developments. He actively encouraged seeking free tree advice at the pre-application stage before considering development and mentioned that tree walks with amenity societies had become very popular and was now an annual event.

Managing London’s woodlands

Becky Porter of the LTOA then spoke about the work of the association to enhance and manage the capital’s trees and woodlands, their membership and some of the nine working parties they have focusing on a wide range of tree issues. One of the key projects is measuring tree canopy in London and further information on the LTOA website.

Thanks to all the attendees, speakers and their companies for giving up their time to make the event a success, and to Westminster for hosting.

The number of works to trees applications submitted online continues to grow and if you are interested in adopting online submission we’d be happy to help and support you.

Please contact us to register your interest and we’ll be in touch.

The presentations from the event can be accessed here.

Planning Portal

Bartlett Tree Experts

London Tree Officers Association

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