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Property Development & AS4970-2009

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Aerial view of some protected trees in London

When it comes to the safety and longevity of the environment within Australia, all levels of government take it very seriously.

As a potential developer, there are rules, regulations and standards that need to be adhered to in terms of the environment before, during and after the development of your project.

Failure to undertake the steps or engage a professional arborist to factor in the trees, type, size, structure and age can lead to potential delays, costs and potential court action by local governments – so it is something as a developer that is vital to pay full attention to.

Australian Standard AS 4970-2009

The Australian Standard documentation is a vital document that provides guidance for anyone concerned with the care and protection of trees and all others interested in integration between trees and construction.

Just because a developer may have the plans and purchased the land, it is essential the standards are understood – or you’ve employed the services of someone that does.

The standards provide a wide-ranging guide on how to decide which trees will be required for appropriate for retention as your project commences.

In addition, it provides a clear guide including diagrammatical explanations on how trees are required to be protected during your development.

It is important to note that the standards do not take into consideration anything in terms of the potential monetary value of trees – which you may require a professional arborist to assist in assessing.

The Australian Standard is neither pro or anti-development, nor for or against the removal of trees. The standard is in place to ensure the processes are followed.

It will be up to your specific local government and conservation laws when it comes to what will or will not be required to be retained and protected for your specific project.

Other Potentially Applicable Standards

The Australian Standard AS 4970-2009 does reference a range of other standard documents including:

It is important to note that your determining authority for your project approval will be extremely diligent when it comes to the Australian Standard AS 4970-2009, so as a developer to ensure that your project has ticked all the boxes it is important to get it right.

Consult a Professional

Using a licenced and professional arborist consulting firm in your planning stages can provide your development with not only a sound strategy to manage trees throughout your development but can assist in moving your project forward through council at greater speed.

If your selected firm has a solid reputation within local, state and federal government circles, then their seal of approval on your submission will most certainly carry weight when it comes time for the green light on your development.

To assist in moving your project forward or more information on the Australian Standard AS 4970-2009, speak to the team at Tree Science today.

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