Issue - meetings

Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy

Meeting: 10/01/2024 - Cabinet (Item 6)

6 Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change Portfolio

 

To consider report HCS/069 of the Head of Community Services, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on 8 January 2024.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy as set out in Appendix A of report HCS/069.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Head of Community Services, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member, to review and make minor amendments to the Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy as further changes to legislation and statutory guidance are introduced or following any review.

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The proposed Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy (Appendix A) has been created to guide and inform the Council’s decisions to deliver a coherent approach for its tree planting, clearly outlining the standards for all tree planting, young tree maintenance and woodland sustainability.  It identifies a clear approach for selecting tree species, location and a process for providing tree planting on council land across the town.

 

Crawley Borough Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and the associated action plan identified the need for a sustainable tree planting strategy to help tackle the effects of climate change.  This strategy fulfils the response to this requirement whilst also delivering other tangible benefits that will assist officers in taking an agreed and consistent strategic approach for future planting of council trees across the Borough.  

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change presented report HCS/069 and associated appendicesof the Head of Community Services. The report requested Cabinet endorse and adopt a strategy that sets out the Council's approach for tree planting across Crawley. The proposed strategy will outline the principles and standards for tree planting, young tree maintenance and woodland sustainability for all Crawley Borough Council trees across the Borough.

 

Councillor Ayling presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 8 January 2024, which included noting that the policy applies to Council trees planted on Council owned land.  It did not apply to private developments or any other land that was not owned by the Council. Also that the Commission queried whether there was a reference to strategic planning documents to match the strategy, and in response it was mentioned that the Planning and Climate Change SPD did mention trees and tree planting. 

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the item commenting that he was broadly in support of the new policy especially over concept of the right types of trees in the right locations.

 

Councillors Mullins, Irvine and Jones all spoke in support of the proposal as part of the discussion on the report, including how pleased they were that many of the costs for the policy would be covered by Section 106 contributions, how the plan helps with the Council’s commitment to Climate Change and improving air quality for its residents. It was also mentioned from the Cabinet Members, who attended the Overview and Scrutiny Commission, how pleased they were with the indepth debate the Commission held on the report.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)    approves the Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy as set out in Appendix A of report HCS/069.

 

b)    delegates authority to the Head of Community Services, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member, to review and make minor amendments to the Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy as further changes to legislation and statutory guidance are introduced or following any review.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The proposed Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy (Appendix A) has been created to guide and inform the Council’s decisions to deliver a coherent approach for its tree planting, clearly outlining the standards for all tree planting, young tree maintenance and woodland sustainability.  It identifies a clear approach for selecting tree species, location and a process for providing tree planting on council land across the town.

 

Crawley Borough Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and the associated action plan identified the need for a sustainable tree planting strategy to help tackle the effects of climate change.  This strategy fulfils the response to this requirement whilst also delivering other tangible benefits that will assist officers in taking an agreed and consistent strategic approach for future planting of council trees across the Borough.  

 


Meeting: 08/01/2024 - Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Item 5)

5 Crawley Borough Council Tree Planting Strategy pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider report HCS/069 of the Head of Community Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Commission considered report HCS/069 of the Head of Community Services. The report sought endorsement and adoption of a strategy setting out the Council's approach for tree planting across Crawley. The proposed strategy outlined the principles and standards for tree planting, young tree maintenance and woodland sustainability for all Crawley Borough Council trees across the Borough.

 

During the discussion with the Leader of the Council and Head of Community Services the following comments were made:

·         Recognition that the strategy had been created to deliver a coherent approach for the Council’s tree planting, clearly outlining the standards, young tree maintenance and woodland sustainability. It identified a clear approach for selecting tree species, location and a process for providing tree planting on Council land across the town.

·         Confirmation that the strategy only applied to Council trees planted on Council owned land and this was funded through section 106 funds.  The strategy did not apply to private developments or any other land that was not owned by the Council

·         Acknowledgement that the strategy assisted in fulfilling the Council’s response to tackling the climate change emergency requirement whilst also delivering other tangible benefits that would assist officers in taking an agreed and consistent strategic approach for future planting of Council trees across the Borough.

·         Confirmation was sought and obtained on whether there was a reference to strategic planning policies to complement the strategy, particularly in relation to land and trees not within the Council’s ownership. It was mentioned that there were many Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) and the Planning and Climate Change SPD did mention consideration of such matters.

·         Information was provided on the planned maintenance for existing and future trees, from sapling to maturity. The Council’s tree database held valuable information on the Council-owned tree stock including existing quality, variety and quantity of canopy coverage. The database would continue to be used to capture newly planted trees and their aftercare, producing a healthier more reliable tree stock in future as essential maintenance was planned and executed. 

·         Recognition that it was important to maintain the existing canopy cover, and where trees were removed if they were dead, dying or dangerous. trees could be planted on a ‘like for like’ basis. Where that was not possible, in managing biosecurity, those planted would have the maximum chance of survival.

·         It was felt important for newly planted trees to be in keeping with the urban landscape and create an aesthetic environment.  In response it was added that it was anticipated the efficient management of urban tree cover would assist in increasing amenity value.

·         Recognition that there was currently sufficient funding through Section 106, however it was important to be aware of long-term funding opportunities. The Woodland Trust funding could be allocated to other organisations that may wish to plant trees within their land

·         It was noted that some diseases (such as Ash Die Back) had a significant detrimental effect on the canopy cover, and it was important to maintain existing canopy cover whilst also maximising the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5