Landscape conditions for approved planning applications

When planning consent is approved for development, this is usually given subject to planning conditions. These conditions may relate to landscaping and ask for detailed information to be provided. The following notes are provided as a guide to assist applicants for small scale schemes. They should be read as advisory and are without prejudice to the process of approval for conditions being met.

For larger schemes developers are advised to use the services of a Chartered Landscape Architect. A full list of registered practices is available on the Landscape Institute website.

Landscaping scheme

Where a scheme for the landscaping of a site is required, this refers to the need for any or all of the following to be provided in written and or drawn form:

  • Drawings showing location of existing landscape features (trees, shrubs, planted areas, hedges etc.) including a tree survey if there are significant numbers of trees, and the loss or retention of any of this vegetation in the proposals.
  • Location and retention of historic landscape features.
  • sketch and detail design drawings and written specifications for hard landscape features for example: paving, surfaces, edgings, steps, boundary treatments, lighting, street furniture, car parks, structures, play equipment, storage areas, cycling facilities, signage, areas of gravel, boulders, fountains and other elements in the external works.
  • Sketch and detail design drawings and written specifications for soft landscape features eg: earthmoving and changes to site contours,removing or filling with soil, including levels information or cross sections to indicate any significant changes in levels. Also: areas to be seeded, covered by turf or planted with trees, shrubs, groundcover, herbaceous planting, hedges, natural watercourses, ponds, etc.
  • Where appropriate, visuals and photos to demonstrate the visual impact of a development.
  • Measures for the protection of trees and vegetation to be retained.
  • Details associated with temporary access roads, compounds, storage areas for construction.

Planting plans

As well as showing the areas to be planted with different plant material at an appropriate scale on a plan, a schedule should also be provided to cover this information:

  • name of plant (English and/or Latin names)
  • number of plants in each specific planted area (or location and number of trees)
  • size of plants to be planted, whether bare-root or container grown
  • density of plants to be planted – how many plants per m2 of planted area, in the case of plants other than trees

Protected species

Information relating to the seasonal constraints for surveys and work associated with mitigation for protected species is available from Nature Conservation.

Related websites

These may provide useful information in preparing a landscape scheme. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement or recommendation and the council has no responsibility for any information provided.

Useful design information

There are a number of guidance sources which are relevant when drawing up schemes. Some of those include: 

Sustainable Use of Soils on Construction Sites Code of practice published by DEFRA

Permeable surfacing guidance for front gardens published by the Environment Agency

Hedgerow Planting: answers to 18 common questions, published by Natural England

Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers published by the Tree Design Action Group

Manual for Streets published by the Department for Transport

Urban Design Compendium published by English Partnerships

Secured by Design- UK police initiative for principles of “designing out crime".

Page last reviewed: 26 October 2020