Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project in Gloucestershire

About This Project

Project Team:


Kier Construction

RPS Group

Tony Gee



A417 (Missing Link), Gloucestershire

Project Brief:

To provide updated arboricultural reports and ancient/veteran tree management guidance through the project design to accompany a Development Consent Order (DCO) submission.

Project Description:

Ove & Arup Partners were appointed as environmental project lead on the Missing Link scheme in 2017. Highways England wanted to create a landscape-led highways scheme that will deliver a safe and resilient free-flowing road while conserving and enhancing the special character of the Cotswolds AONB; reconnecting landscape and ecology; bringing about landscape, wildlife and heritage benefits, including enhanced residents’ and visitors’ enjoyment of the area; improving quality of life for local communities; and contributing to the health of the economy and local businesses.

During the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Statement (ES) process the redline boundary was altered, omitting certain parts of the site and the introduction of new areas, which had previously not been surveyed. In addition, a review of the wider site and more detailed analysis of ancient and veteran trees, as well as ancient woodlands, was required. This would require updates to the previously prepared arboricultural documents that had been provided by a third-party arboricultural consultancy practice.

Ove Arup & Partners offer the majority of environmental consultancy services in-house, but needed arboricultural support on this scheme. We were appointed as a sub-consultant not only because we could achieve the project timeframes and demonstrated value for money, but because we are relatively local to the scheme (being based just over 30 miles away from the site) and one of the wider scheme aims is to minimise the carbon footprint of not only the project, but also the supply chain.

Given the timescales of the project it was imperative that the data was captured and processed quickly to inform the ongoing design work. Despite difficulties with site access due to a multitude of land ownerships, we were able to provide a revised set of baseline tree data and Arboricultural Impact Assessment Addendum within 8 weeks of instruction. Once these documents had been approved, we were reappointed to provide ongoing assistance with the production of tree removals and protection drawings to facilitate the enabling works, as well as the production of a detailed and bespoke Arboricultural Method Statement.

In November 2022, Transport Minister Huw Merriman MP approved the major road upgrade to the A417 Missing Link scheme and following approval of construction drawings, enabling works have commenced in accordance with the Environmental Management Plans (of which the arboricultural documents are included).


If you have a Nationally Significant Infrastructure project and need baseline tree surveys, or updated surveys of specific parts of the site, and assistance with arboricultural reports get in touch (

Trees, Structures and Development