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Planning Market Insight Report: Record number of submissions in a single month and a 41 per cent increase in tree work applications in February 2021

by on March 17, 2021

As we enter our second springtime that will predominantly be spent at home, it is no surprise to anyone that we have seen vast increases in application numbers for works to tree applications. Throughout 2020 there was a 36 per cent increase in the number of applications when compared to 2019 and when looking for seasonal trends, February 2021 has had the largest increase in applications at 41 per cent when compared to February 2020.

Trees and their importance to society and nature have become more prominent in the news over the last year. The controversial felling of ancient woodlands to make way for ‘High Speed 2’ the new highspeed railway linking London to the West Midlands and then further north to Manchester and Leeds has ignited discussions about the importance of protection of trees.

Furthering this, the importance of trees and their placement in planning and development has also been reported. Research carried out by the RTPI found that planners overwhelmingly support a nationwide push for tree planting in both new developments and existing communities. 96 per cent of respondents said that trees are important to their work in creating healthy, attractive, environmentally and climatically sustainable places.

We know it has been a tough year for everyone, but to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on the arboricultural industry, we spoke to Stephen Hodsman from the Arboricultural Association. He has provided us with insight into the challenges the industry faced last year, how the Association stepped in to support their members and to highlight the increasing importance of tree care to society and how they are championing the sustainable management of trees.

“The coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly changed our entire world and was a threat on a scale that most of us living today had never seen before. The first few weeks of the first lockdown saw widespread confusion amongst Arboricultural businesses, with conflicting government guidance leading many businesses to shut down, while others carried on as normal. After the initial period of uncertainty, and contrary to many industries suffering severely in lockdown, arboriculture was fortunate to see an increase in work, with many of our members from contractors to consultants all reporting being busier than ever from June until the end of the year.”

As always, the report includes a wealth of insight into other areas of development. In line with last year’s application trend, February achieved an increase of 25 per cent compared to 2020’s figures and sets a record all-time high with 63,258 applications! This edition’s regional review focuses on the South West. There have been many government reorganisations in this region over the last few years and the top four authorities in terms of submission numbers are made up of these. 

The report is hosted in a new digital format and is now only available to registered customers. If you would like to access the FREE report, please sign up here.

  1. Paisley Carter permalink

    Hi, I’m looking to build a fence in my front garden which is on the corner of two highways and a path. My property is in Ealing, London and I can’t find the cost for submitting planning permission anywhere – please can you help?

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