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Trees, Woodland and Hedges Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) consultation

We want your views on the draft document which sets out guidance to ensure trees, woodlands and hedges are fully considered as part of the planning process, so that the multiple benefits that they provide can be experienced by the residents of, and visitors to County Durham.

A total of 16 responses were received to the initial phase of consultation.  We plan to consult again in Autumn 2023 for a further six weeks on the changes to the document following this round of consultation.



The County Durham Plan (CDP) was adopted in October 2020. It provides a framework for new housing developments and helps to assess planning applications up to 2035. This draft SPD supports the CDP by explaining how we will deal with planning applications that affect trees, woodlands and hedges.

What the SPD includes

The SPD includes guidance on:

  • tree surveys
  • Arboricultural Impact Assessments
  • protecting ancient and veteran trees and ancient woodland
  • protecting trees and hedges of high landscape, the value of biodiversity eg how they can help to reduce soil erosion
  • protecting and integrating existing trees, woodlands or hedges into development
  • compensating for any loss of trees, woodlands or hedges
  • planting new trees, woodlands or hedges, including street trees
  • Tree Preservation Orders and trees in Conservation Areas
  • moving (translocating) hedges to - keep their benefits by moving them to a new location
  • maintenance and management of trees and hedges

Read the SPD and register to comment on it.

Have your say

The closing date for comments was 5.00pm on 11 April 2023.

What happens next

Responses to the consultation will be considered in drafting the Trees, Woodland and Hedges SPD. We will then consult again in Autumn 2023. Any final amendments to the document will be considered and justified before completion and approval. Following that consultation, any final amendments to the document will be considered and justified before completion and approval. Once approved, the SPD will be adopted and will be used to assess planning applications.

Contact us
Contact Spatial Policy
03000 263 967