Everything You Need to Know About Arborist Reports for Development Applications

There are many things to take into consideration before and during a new development, from getting council permission to build or extend to whether you are in the right financial position to undergo the project. However, there are other aspects that you may not have thought of, specifically surrounding the trees and plants that currently live on the land you wish to build on. This is where arborist reports for development applications come in. What are they? And why are they relevant? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about why they are essential parts of your planning process.


What is an Arborist Report for Development Applications?

These assessments are carried out to determine if a block of land can be built on or if it is possible to extend a current property. This applies to both commercial and residential projects. The aim is to determine the retention value of any trees on the land and decide if it is possible to remove them. It is the role of the contractor of the project to make adjustments to the plans according to the outcome of the arborist report for development applications.


When Should I Contact a Tree Surgeon?

It is often recommended that you contact a tree care professional at the beginning of the design process. At this stage they will most likely want to do a Preliminary Tree Assessment in order to help the architect and landscape designer develop plans around the current trees on the property. In doing this, you will know what plants are of high retention value, and which should not be a constraint on the design and can be removed. However, depending on the scale and type of project you are undergoing, an arborist report for development applications may not be required until the middle stages of the planning process. The downside to leaving it until later in the process to complete this check is that your plans will need alteration, rather than the easier method of just making plans around the tree surgeons recommendations at the beginning of the project.


Will I Need Any Other Tree Inspections?

Depending on the results of the arborist report for development, you may need further inspections to help decide the best course of action for you, and the environment. In this situation, you will often be required to get an Arboricultural Impact Assessment. Any council will explain the meaning of this inspection to you, but it essentially means all trees will be identified and categorised into removal, transplantation and retention. Furthermore, the report will highlight what design measures are needed in order to adhere to the outcome. This means finding a way to minimize the impact on the trees that will remain on the property. From this point, you will be able to make final plans and move forward with your development.


What Happens If I Fail to Get an Inspection?

In Australia, councils take environmental health very seriously, especially when it comes to rare species of plant, or trees that provide a home for many native creatures. Therefore, if you remove a tree, or continue with your building plans without following the correct procedure you could find yourself facing environmental court, and a large fine.


How Much Does an Assessment Cost?

Generally, the cost of all inspections are roughly the same. The maximum price you will pay for one tree is usually about $450. Depending on the species of tree, this could increase to $100 per extra tree involved in the assessment. However, remember that the results may require additional treatments that mean added costs.