With the exception of the site’s eastern boundary, the site is contained by established trees and hedgerow which have been assessed using British Standard guidelines (BS5837:2012: ‘trees in relation to design, demolition and construction’).
There are no trees within the site interior which would constrain or prohibit development, however the integrity and functionality of the western and northern boundaries have been recognised as important features to retain. Notwithstanding any ecological and landscape value, they comprise native tree species occurring as hedgerow with standards that would be of long-term benefit; owing to their compact nature and current life stage, there will be a negligible degree of technical difficulty in seeking to integrate both boundaries within a layout that doesn’t restrict their future outlook.
The principal arboricultural feature of the site, in terms of visibility, is a closely planted line of cypress bounding the Ashton Road boundary. The amenity value of the cypress group is based on their collective merit which is greater than can be conferred on its individual components. Despite their established appearance, the integrity of the group has been eroded before achieving maturity, and one of the principal trees has started to collapse since the survey as undertaken. Options for intervening in the decline of the cypress group will be considered in terms of long-term compatibility, ecological role and the wider interest of the setting, and approach to, Hartwell.