Section 106 (of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990) agreements are private agreements made between local authorities and developers. Some Section 106 agreements are specifically made to replace trees lost because of development. In Bristol, these agreements are made under the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard (see pages 20 & 21). They often also require that trees be planted within a one-mile radius of a development site. The current total value of these funds is more than £400,000.
There are also another 27 agreements that relate to ‘Parks & Open Spaces’ valued at more than £450,000, some of which might also be used to plant trees, but subject always to agreement with Bristol Parks Forum and other local ‘green space’ community groups.
Here is a summary of the current tree-specific agreements grouped by Ward and the new BCC Administration Areas:Background Notes
Of the 52,017* public trees and tree sites managed by the council, a third are street trees. Across the city there are 944 vacant tree sites, 542 of which are places where street trees once grew. Bristol Tree Forum is negotiating to have these sites made available for sponsorship. The remainder of these tree sites are in housing estates, parks, cemeteries, amenity areas and many other green spaces.
None of these sites is available to sponsor but there are currently another 707 sponsorship sites, of which 246 are in streets. These figures constantly change as trees felled are added and sites sponsored are removed. Figures for sponsorship sites where a sponsor has come forward, but the tree has not yet been planted are not published.
These sites could also be funded by Section 106 money. This makes 1,651 sites across the city where trees could, potentially, be replanted. Of these some 1,198 lie within one or more of the areas specified by these Section 106 agreements and 417 of them are on streets.
Replacing all Bristol’s lost trees using only Section 106 agreement monies would cost £765.21 per tree. Planting trees in new sites (sites where there was never any tree) may be more expensive: £3,318.88 per site if the pavement must be lifted, services are disturbed, and a specially designed tree pit installed. If all Section 106 agreement funds were used to replace just lost trees, then some 540 trees could be replaced – 45 per cent of the total number of sites available.
Figures available for tree planting on streets show that 608 street trees were planted between 2013 and 2018, an average of 122 per annum (We are happy to provide the reports and data upon which this table is based on request).We have now been able to establish that the Council felled 1,304 trees over the last three years. We have not yet been able to find what sort of trees they were or where they we located, but it is likely that most were located on streets. 363 street trees were planted over the same period.
* This figure constantly changes. As trees are felled, they are removed from the main BCC asset register. The site disappears until a new tree replaces (if it ever does) the one lost. Trees are usually planted during the winter months when most trees are dormant.
2 thoughts on “Planting and replacing Bristol’s street trees with Section 106 money”
I went to the Bristol tree forum meeting last night and I came away unclear why £400,000 had been unspent again section 106. I can’t see why there should be a store of money. Why can’t it be spent straight away on tree planting once a site is agreed? Perhaps someone can explain simply to me why the fund is hard to get at?
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Good question. Whilst we could go over the problems of the past (which include the fact that the Neighbourhood Partnerships were dissolved to save money) we feel we now need to focus on getting this money spent and trees in the ground. We are working now to make sure that we have political backing at a high level to support us and put the necessary logistics in place. Right now we are working ourselves to get confirmation of deadlines so that trees can be put in the ground in the next planting season (it isn’t entirely straightforward). We have more than £400,000 to spend on trees – please help us get planting! Vassili Papastavrou, vice-Chair Bristol Tree Forum
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