A CONSULTATION has begun on the protection of trees across a Hampshire borough.

Eastleigh Borough Council is asking residents to give their views on the new draft Trees and Development Supplementary Planning Document.

The document sets out the council's "robust" policy on the protection of existing trees and planting of new trees for new developments.

It aims to ensure that trees are fully considered as part of the planning process and there is a net gain of trees on development sites.

It will also help to reinforce the Borough’s Local Plan policy on trees, develop green infrastructure and support the Council’s commitment to tree planting as part of the Climate Change and Environmental Emergency programme.

The consultation will run for six weeks from June 9 July 21 with information on the document available for residents to view on the council website.

A council spokesperson, said: "The Council views existing trees as important assets to a new development and careful consideration must be given to incorporating them in the design and layout of any development and protecting them during construction. It also includes an extensive tree replacement policy.

"This SPD will be used as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. It includes key principles about incorporating existing trees, planting and establishing new trees and in exceptional cases, the replacement of existing trees on site."