Skip navigation

A homeowner has used historic aerial photography to provide crucial evidence to support a planning application and overturn the local council’s plan to place a tree preservation order on trees within his garden. Bluesky supplied the historic aerial photography, complete with certificates of authentification, from their OldAerialPhotos archive providing factual and unbiased evidence to support the homeowner’s claim that the trees in his garden were in fact self seeded and did not historically form part of neighbouring woodland.

“We acquired the property several years ago when it was uninhabitable and virtually derelict,” commented homeowner Stuart Whelan, “and then since when we have spent a considerable amount of time and money bringing it back to it’s former glory – a fact that has been appreciated by our neighbours as it has a prominent position within the village.”

Mr Whelan continued, “When we submitted the planning application for a garage within our garden to Rushcliffe Borough Council we assumed it was just a formality. However when this was refused, on the grounds that the site was considered woodland, we were very concerned. If we allowed the classification to stand it would seriously impede on our ability to use the land as garden and continue with our regeneration of the site.”

The Bluesky images formed part of a seventy three page document presented by Mr Whelan to the Council outlining his objections to the ‘woodland’ Tree Preservation Order. The images from 1978, 1991, 1999 and 2007 clearly show both the property and garden falling into a state of disrepair with adjacent woodland gradually ‘taking over’ the garden.

“The Council simply couldn’t argue with the photographic evidence placed before them,” concluded Mr Whelan. “The images were therefore instrumental in achieving an agreement with the Council and the order was changed from a blanket ban to a group order naming specific trees. This provides protection for the trees we love yet allows us to use our garden as a garden.”

The imagery supplied by Bluesky forms part of historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images, military photography from World War II and many national archives. Offering a record of most major UK cities and towns, transport and utility infrastructure and commercial property developments, the images are an invaluable resource for anyone with a personal or professional interest in local studies, genealogy, boundary disputes, environmental land use research or town planning.



  1. Of course the one should not forget that the actual photographic collections are held by public bodies such as the National Monuments Record of Wales, English Heritage etc. These are the institutions which locate and provide the images which are then resold by Bluesky as an intermediary to the member of the public. Bluesky do not actually hold collections of photographs but use those of the RAF and OS which are held in the above repositories and are Crown copyright.

    • Thank you very much for you comment, however this is a common misconception. English Heritage and such like only hold a portion of the available aerial photos of the UK (i.e. OS and RAF), the majority of the commercial archives are actually held and managed by, in the original film format . These archives collectively comprise over 2 million 9 by 9 inch negatives. Most the archive from Aerofilms, Blom, Geonex, Fairies, Clyde, Infoterra, NRSC, Huntings, Getmapping, Cartographic surveys are part of this amazing historical collection. OldAerialPhotos also operates two of the few remaining commercial aerial film scanners in the UK in order to provide the highest quality scans.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: