We are due to begin installing sheet piles to excavate for attenuation tanks. Our client (The principle contractor) has instructed us to instruct a tree surgeon to conduct a survey to assess the damage cutting through the roots will have on the tree, and the potential ramifications. Our client insist that this is our responsibility as it’s part of the physical condition of the site, and we should have been able to see the trees near the site boundary during the visual inspection of the site, and undertook surveys to assess the roots.
My argument is that during the feasibility studies the root protection area of nearby trees should have been assessed according to the specifications outlined in BS 5837-2012 and they should have included this in the site information passed on to us.
My question is, after signing the contract is it now our responsibility to conduct a survey to assess whether the tree is protected: what will happen if we cut through the roots; and any actions following that. Or should our Client have carried these surveys out during the feasibility stage, and therefore it is still their responsibility?