With the potential to increase income, reduce costs and eliminate any risk of prosecution, a tree survey is a sure fire way of increasing the value of your next development.
Waste soil disposal from a development can be costly, but a lack of classification at the pre-development stage can significantly increase this cost through time delays and claims from contractors.
The use of asbestos in construction and other common place materials was not totally banned in the UK until 1999. Before the message about the risks posed by asbestos really penetrated the construction industry, there were many examples of refurbishment and demolition activities that resulted in asbestos being left on site and in the ground.
Planning applications often need to be supported by several reports containing a diverse range of recommendations. These may be provided by an equally diverse range of consultants who may never be involved in the development of other reports. This can lead to increased costs and delays if problems arise as a result of conflicting recommendations.
You have a degree of control over trees within your ownership. You probably already know you may need a tree survey to tell you which to remove and how to design your scheme around them.
As of April 2015, any development is required to consider the potential use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). As a result, agb Environmental has started to see a significant increase in the number of ground investigations specifying soakaways testing; an important step in assessing the viability and design of SUDS. We discuss the background…
How do you compare quotes of a ground investigation? If it is based solely on the grand total, you may not be getting the best value for money.
One of the last jobs for a development is often the landscaping. After months of disruption, the natural soils on site are perhaps looking a bit “tired”, heavily compacted and very low on organic matter. So you import some good quality topsoil and plant into that, but will this hinder or assist your landscaping?
At agb Environmental, we have seen a real increase of cases where planning applications have been rejected by planning committees based on a lack of understanding of the potential for contamination at the site.
You’ve finalised the plans and instructed the surveys, there is a date in the diary for the planning submission and it’s all systems go. But then the surveys start to come in…
With the rise in popularity of the All Inclusive package holiday, we started to wonder, if price is the only factor, why are they so popular? After all, we all can get cheaper flights, book cheaper hotels and find cheaper car hire.
The saying goes, you never know the cost of a development until you’re out of the ground, and with the need for development cost certainty, how do we avoid this?
agb Environmental is a multidisciplinary consultancy offering a range of services – including due diligence surveys.
Here at agb Environmental we are always on the lookout for new techniques to produce accurate results. Firing a laser at a tree doesn’t sound like the best way to help protect it from development, but that’s what was needed for one site in Chelsea recently.
Do you have a project that goes beyond normal business practice to improve biodiversity and ecological habitats in a built environment? Or, could you add a new biodiversity enhancement to an existing building or site?
Having trees on or near your site can prove to be a headache when it comes to development. Getting an Arboriculturist on board at an early stage can both prevent delays and costly revisions.
The deadline to start a dormouse survey for a 2015 finish is fast approaching! Secure your development by arranging a dormouse survey and contacting agb Environmental before it’s too late.
agb Environmental ecologists are now fully trained and licensed to use this brand new survey technique, which can determine whether great crested newts (GCN) are present or likely to be absent from ponds – using just a water sample!
There are various reptile species in the United Kingdom and they are all legally protected: Two rare species under European legislation, and the widespread reptile species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Local Planning Authorities will require a survey if there is potential for reptiles to be using your site. Now is the time to…
When planning new developments there are many different rules and regulations for you to abide by, including ones that may not be so well known to you or necessarily at the top of your priorities. However, they are crucial for your plans to achieve planning permission and to provide the information that the LPA need…
The public have a fascination with ancient trees. The recent national poll on the nation’s favourite tree drew the interest of newspapers, with the winner going up against trees across Europe.
As it’s already March, it is important for anyone who is purchasing land, or applying for planning permission, to find out if they need a Great Crested Newt (GCN) survey as soon as possible to avoid lengthy delays as a result of a strict narrow survey season.
In April 2014, the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) enabled conversion of some agricultural buildings to residential without a full planning application.
Joining the agb Environmental team in November, Richard Parmee has taken on the role of Principal Arboricultural Consultant at agb Environmental.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) recently published their response to the consultation on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) thresholds, with new regulations likely to be set early in 2015.
If you own or are responsible for trees, do you know what your legal obligations are, and are you meeting them? agb Environmental has some advice for those tree owners among you.
In a recent report, the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has said that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) should be doing more to protect against unsustainable development and ensure that unwanted housing projects are not built.
In a recent parliamentary statement, the Government has encouraged the redevelopment of Brownfield sites by agreeing that small housing plots on this type of land will no longer be subject to obligation. A potential hazard due to its former industrial and commercial uses, Brownfield sites may be contaminated by low concentrations of waste or pollutions…
As the holiday season quickly approaches, agb Environmental would like to wish all of our clients a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
London’s plane trees could be under threat, warns the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA), from a new disease originating from the Continent. Plane trees account for 10% of all trees in London, making them one of the most densely populated breeds in the capital.
Northam Town Council has recommended first level refusal of a proposed development on greenfield land, which includes 200 new homes, yet agb Environmental warns of risks involved.
agb Environmental’s Principal Arboricultural Consultant, Richard Parmee, discusses the origins of Christmas trees in the UK and the wide range of different tree species available. Choosing the right tree may be confusing with so many considerations: what makes one better than another; is it best to buy with roots; should it be grown in a…
The danger Japanese Knotweed poses to biodiversity has been well publicised, and now a change to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act gives regulatory powers the right to fine those who refuse to act upon knotweed infestations. Inaccurate reports have stated ASBOs could be given to homeowners failing to control the spread of Japanese…
According to figures published by the Homes and Communities Agency, thousands of new homes could be built on brownfield land available for development. Within the report, the Government reveals new plans to use 90% of brownfield land for housing by 2020, paving the way for up to 200,000 new homes that are desperately needed.
Whether removal or retention of trees is preferred, developers must remain aware of the ways in which to work with these ‘material constraints’. Tree considerations are a vital part of the planning process. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) may require that the best trees be retained within any development. The British Standard BS 5837:2012 provides…
agb Environmental would like to remind clients that discovering contamination late into the development process can not only mean costly remediation but also put site users and workers at risk. In this case, a Phase 1 Contaminated Land Desk Study would have identified the risks, allowing site investigations and appropriate project planning to take place…
Lead is known to be a toxic substance that, if found on your development, will require appropriate risk assessment and potentially remediation and validation.
When purchasing commercial land with the idea to develop, there are many considerations in regards to ensuring you’re making a worthwhile investment. Funding, location and change of usage are common factors, but environmental assessments can throw up cautions, and should be conducted before you commit.
Gas proof resistant membranes are installed to provide protection against harmful ground gases, including; methane, carbon dioxide, volatiles, hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide and radon gas, from being drawn into buildings by the pressure difference that exists between the inside and outside. These gases can accumulate to dangerous concentrations and should therefore be prevented from effecting…
Over the years agb Environmental has helped many clients to develop the land near, and on, former landfill sites. Click through to read our guide to building near landfills safely and successfully.
There are numerous benefits for retaining trees that developers should be aware of. Although often seemingly in the way of construction, trees can add value to your site and may also be protected by LPAs, therefore subjecting your development to planning constraints.
agb Environmental were interested to read that The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has issued it’s position following Defra’s C4SLs findings.
Due to the UK’s chronic housing shortage, the government has made it clear that brownfield sites shall be made easier to build upon for developers. As experts in understanding how to overcome the challenges posed by brownfield sites, including contaminated land and flood risk, agb Environmental are on hand to help developers take advantage of…
agb Environmental would like to remind developers that the bat survey season is drawing to a close.
agb Environmental welcomes the launch of a new technical guidance website from the Environmental Agency (EA). The EA has recently moved to a new virtual home that includes a technical guidance page on the management of contaminated land.
Local Planning Authorities in England can now assess whether a proposed development is likely to impact a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by using Natural England’s new tool.
Always advocating a full assessment of ground conditions, agb Environmental wishes to highlight the perils of not heeding this advice after developers drilled through a tunnel wall, damaging an underground rail line.
The new British Standard (BS42020) for Biodiversity will help clients to compare quotes and levels of service that ecologists provide them. agb Environmental welcomes the new code, as it will set standards across the ecology board.
For the first time in a bat crime case, an offender has been referred to the Crown Court for sentencing. agb Environmental warns clients that failing to adhere to bat survey findings is a criminal offence.
Buying and developing potentially contaminated sites can be a risky business. Offering guidance from the initial desk study to successful remediation validation, agb Environmental offers three tips for cost effective solutions.
Defra has released its provisional C4SLs for the assessment of land affected by contamination, but the new screening levels face some challenges when it comes to assessing land under the Town & Country Planning Act.
Avoid delay on your development by scheduling ecology surveys when required. For further information please contact our in-house ecology team.
Developers must review the potential for contamination when obtaining prior approval from their Local Planning Authority (LPA) before changing property use from offices to residential, reminds agb Environmental.
The prospect of needing a Phase 1 Contaminated Land Desk Study can seem daunting with such a variety of services on the market. agb Environmental clears some of the smoke surrounding the surveys.
agb Environmental’s top tips for building near trees ensure you remain informed about the possible challenges ahead.
agb Environmental reminds developers that GCN surveys are still required, after NE announces a step forward in the detection and protection process.
With the deadline looming for Great Crested Newt Surveys, agb Environmental urges developers to act now to avoid delay.
agb Environmental argues ecology assessments are just as important as ever, after Governmental cutbacks look set to force the Environment Agency to reduce the advice it gives to developers. This may create a risk of ecology not being appropriately considered at the right time in a development.
With new guidance published on the method in which the risk from asbestos in soil should be managed, agb Environmental advises on the correct assessment procedures to avoid over-cautious and costly removal.
agb Environmental has expanded its team with the addition of a Senior Project Manager and a Principal Ecologist. These key hires will help to expand the consulting business, benefiting clients through enabling quick reaction to clients’ needs and delivery of the results they need to get their development moving.
After introducing a charging system to the pre application advice service, a currently free of charge provision, the Environment Agency (EA) has been met with many questions and concerns.
A revised version of BS 10175, the British standard for the investigation of potentially contaminated sites, has recently been published.
The NHBC has released clear guidance on its requirements for the certification of any clean cover system. We would encourage any developer working towards the certificate to bear in mind the new guidance, but not to forget the requirements of other regulators too.