Planning Protection Toolkit


Check the ‘situations’ below to see what section is the most useful for the current situation of the planning application. Open the page or download the document to get to the text. Within the toolkit are descriptions and guidance based on our experiences. Copy and paste the

template text with optional text

into your own letters. The text will need to be tailored to each situation and red text always requires editing.

In most cases you will need to direct your comments to the Local Planning Authority. Constructive suggestions can be sent directly to the developer’s agent, but having your comments recorded on the application is better. To find your LPA visit The more information that you can gather from public documents and plans, the easier it is to construct your arguments. The key is often ‘what’s missing?’.

All of the text on these pages can be downloaded as MS Word (.docx) documents. If you need them in any other format please contact PTES.

Also see:

My Community “assets of community value” help pages

Buglife community toolkit.

Woodland Trust Campaign in your Community pages

Kent AONB Orchards for Everyone – a good example of a management plan can be found here

+ Before starting: check the definition to make sure it's a traditional orchard

Habitat Definition

Arguments over the definition of a traditional orchard are prevalent when they are involved in a planning application, and so an understanding of the Priority Habitat definition and how the site in question meets it will be useful in making the most of the toolkit. So before examining the various possibilities, it is important to check first that the site meets the definition. These are defined by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) – here. The key text for traditional orchards is: “groups of fruit and nut trees planted on vigorous rootstocks at low densities in permanent grassland; and managed in a low intensity way”. Formerly relating to the now defunct UK Biodiversity Action Plan, this definition is now used to define traditional orchards as a Habitat of Principal Importance in Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

It is important to note that this includes orchards that do not meet the definition precisely. As long as the trees are not on the dwarfing rootstock used in modern intensive orchards they may still qualify. For example, intensive management of orchards containing vigorous or semi-dwarfing rootstock can be changed, with biodiversity benefits becoming evident within a few years. Semi-dwarfing trees under low-intesity management still provide valuable habitat.

Planning flowchart

Flowchart quick-link. Refer to this to identify the required page.


  • No planning application has been submitted, but the orchard is at risk of development or agricultural intensification

Go to Protective Structures webpage

Download Protective Structures as a Word document


  • No planning application has been submitted, but the developer has begun a consultation with local residents

Go to Pre-application research and Making a representation webpage

Download Pre-application research and Making a representation as Word documents


  • A planning application has been submitted and the planning authority has invited relevant parties to make representations

Go to Making a representation and Legal structures webpage

Download Making a representation and Legal structures as Word documents


  • A planning application has been submitted and a report (ecological, arboricultural, etc.) has been produced for the developer arguing that the orchard is not worthy of preservation


  • The planning application has been rejected by the planning authority and the developer has begun an appeal

Go to Legal structures and Counter-arguments webpage

Download Legal structures and Counter-arguments as Word documents




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