Trees and new housing

Tree protection

When someone submits a planning application to build new homes we expect them to do everything they can to avoid cutting down trees.

The housing project at St Ann’s is a good example of how we protect trees.

We do not have the legal powers to stop someone cutting down a tree on their own land, unless:

When the council is building homes, we have our own rules about trees, like:

  • we only cut down trees if housing cannot be designed around them
  • where trees have to be cut down, we replant many more on or around the site, to replace the tree canopy cover being lost and to increase it for the future 
  • we'll plant tree species on the site to help the local ecosystem 

New houses and biodiversity

New housing sites have to boost different kinds of life, for example plants and animals, found in the area by at least 10%. Many of our council housing projects go further, including:

  • going above the Urban Greening Factor target of 0.4 in London, which measures the drainage and biodiversity benefits of land surface – our tree planting contributes to some of the highest scores
  • our upcoming Brunel Walk housing project in Tottenham that will hit an urban greening score of 0.65, with rain gardens, hedging, perennials and 68 new trees to be planted – biodiversity on the site will go up by nearly 25%
  • our Ashley Road Depot housing project in Tottenham with 74 new trees set to be planted

The vast majority of homes we build are affordable homes with a council rent. We set tough energy and environmental standards for those homes, keeping their carbon footprint to the minimum.