Merry Christmas for all of the team at agb Environmental (and their owners!). This year, rather than sending out lots of cards, we’ve decided to dress up our office dogs and make a donation to Guide Dogs. Less glitter, more meaning. The office will be closed from Friday 21st Dec until 2nd Jan. See…
Over the years, the team has built up experience of what it takes to ensure a ground investigation can run smoothly, meaning on time and to budget delivery. This blog explores some of the common issues that the team has faced, in delivering high quality ground investigation services.
In the site investigation industry the biggest risk to the safety of operatives is arguably that of striking buried services. We help clients ensure they can achieve the objectives for ground conditions in a safe way.
Putting new hard surfacing around a tree can be a stumbling block when it comes to a planning application, but with the correct approach, it needn’t trip you up.
We would like to wish all our clients and colleagues a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We hope you all enjoy the festive period and we look forward to working with you in 2018.
We have established CPD Seminars to help up-skill your team when it comes to navigating environmental surveys for development. The Seminars cover various issues such as risks, timescales and design implications, and they offer practical guidance for your own workload and development.
Ecology is perhaps one of the few technical surveys that has the potential to cause significant delays, costs and complications to a project. To help navigate through this complex technical field, we have established an in depth Continued Professional Development (CPD) that considers ecology.
If you aren’t sure whether a PEA is required, agb Environmental have released EVA (Ecological Validation Appraisal), a unique service aimed at providing you with a clear steer on whether the Local Planning Authority will be seeking a PEA.
Even if you don’t have bat roosting potential on your development site, you may still have habitats that support bat commuting and foraging. This will require a bat activity survey.
Whilst the window for traditional survey methods has now passed, agb Environmental can offer environmental-DNA (eDNA) surveys instead, with the survey window open until the end of June.
Ground investigation techniques vary depending on the objectives of the investigation, the strata, and logistical factors such as access. To assist with understanding what factors contribute to the decision on which technique to use, we have prepared a briefing note on the use of trial pits.
Water vole surveys may be required if your development project may impact any watercourse or ditch. The requirement for water vole surveys will be indicted within a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.
We have developed a unique service that provides swift preliminary ecological advice on a project, before encountering the need for more detailed ecological surveys.
To understand Root Protection Areas (RPAs), first we must understand how the RPA is calculated. The British Standard (BS5937: Trees in Relation to Construction and Demolition – Recommendations) sets out that the radius of an RPA from a tree is calculated as twelve times the diameter of that tree as measured at 1.5m high. Inevitably…
The bat roost survey season is upon us and the agb Environmental team of ecologists are ready with their various bat detectors to turn slightly nocturnal themselves!
Our technical teams offer a free screening opinion on the most common environmental surveys. All we need is the information you have on the project, and we can provide a reasoned explanation of why various surveys may, or may not be required.
Ground investigation techniques vary depending on the objectives of the investigation, the strata, and logistical factors such as access. To assist with understanding what factors contribute to the decision on which technique to use, we have prepared a briefing note on the use of dynamic sampling techniques.
We’ve been listening to our clients and you’ve made clear that spending time managing technical surveys is not considered time well spent. In fact, it can be a significant distraction and source of unnecessary complication, reducing your ability to focus on the issues that are important to you. Based on this feedback, we’ve developed a…
Are you interested in getting paid experience within ecology? agb Environmental are seeking two or three seasonal ecologists to assist with surveys between May and September 2017.
If you have scrub, rough grassland or log piles within your site, then you may need surveys to determine if your site supports reptiles.
With the warming spring air, hazel dormice are likely to emerge from hibernation in the coming months. That means it’s time to start thinking about the dormouse surveys season starting again in April.
At this time of year our ecologists are preparing themselves for several busy months of surveying. Particularly with the great crested newt survey season upon us.
Birds and bats are the two animals most likely to be an issue when carrying out tree work. For nesting birds, it’s often obvious when they are there and the approach is straightforward. For roosting bats, it’s not nearly so clear cut.
With January now behind us, thoughts can now turn to spring, and the variety of ecology surveys that can begin taking place, including breeding bird surveys.
Ground investigation techniques vary depending on the objectives of the investigation, the strata, and logistical factors such as access.
agb Environmental is an environmental consultancy specialising in multi-service, multi-site development projects. We provide comprehensive environmental site assessment and coordinated constraints management.
agb Environmental has the specialist teams to help survey for and mitigate the impacts of any developments to near water vole habitat. Should you have any projects where water voles may be a constraint, or where you may require any further ecology or protected species surveys, please get in touch.
When developing a site, where trees make life difficult, you may be able to take them out to fit your layout, but you have little control over trees beyond your boundaries. What do you need to know when it comes to your neighbours’ trees?
The team at agb Environmental wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Just a reminder the Newmarket and London offices will have limited staffing between Thursday 22nd December 2016 and Tuesday 3rd January 2017.
agb Environmental ecologists have prepared two important calendars you may wish to refer to if you’re planning to develop a site with potential for protected species.
You’re all set to start planning your development, or maybe submit the planning application, when you’re told you need a tree survey. Who do you need to ask, and what is it you need from them?
We have developed an hour long CPD seminar to offer some insight into the process of engaging, managing and understanding ecology surveys.
The contaminated land assessment process enables the developer to demonstrate that the site is safe and suitable for the proposed use. This is achieved through the planning system, at application stage, and through relevant planning conditions.
If you’re planning works to buildings or underground structures, you are likely to need an ecologist to assess the potential for hibernating bats.
As the mild autumn temperatures that we’ve been enjoying are starting to fade and the colder weather sets in, birds will be migrating to their winter grounds from northern latitudes.
With Bonfire Night fast approaching, agb Environmental have put together these top tips to help you avoid harming animals.
At agb Environmental we believe in challenging the status quo to ensure our clients receive the best possible service. One example of this is our approach of providing lump sum fee proposals for ground investigations.
With winter fast approaching (is your Christmas party booked yet?), you may be forgiven for thinking that our ecologists are considering hibernation. It’s true that the winter period is generally the season that ecologists manage to get a lie in (no more dawn surveys). And manage to leave work at a normal time (no more…
Planning permission has at last been granted on a site where trees have provided a stumbling block for at least two years, following the use of radar by agb Environmental’s specialist arboricultural team.
With the majority of protected species surveys completed, the question turns to what our team of ecologists will be doing in winter. Will all development has to wait until the new season? Several UK species hibernate, migrate or reduce their activity during the cold weather over the winter months. This applies to bats, dormice, reptiles and…
New water vole mitigation guidelines for development and construction projects were published in April 2016. Our Ecologists at agb Environmental have provided a useful overview of these guidelines and the key changes and recommendations. The water vole is one of the UK’s fastest declining wild mammals. It is listed as a species of principal importance for…
With two licensed white-clawed crayfish ecologists on the team, agb Environmental provides some detail on why and when crayfish surveys should be undertaken.
With September fast approaching, we are rapidly moving through the closing months and weeks of various ecological survey seasons. With that in mind, we’re urging clients to consider accelerating project surveys in order to meet the survey deadlines.
agb Environmental has significant experience of assessing and remediation get the risks posed by ground gasses. To understand more about ground gasses, get in touch with our team.
Following positive feedback from the most recent round of CPD seminars, agb Environmental is pleased to announce the wider rollout of the Environmental Surveys Continued Professional Development (CPD) seminar for architectural firms.
agb Environmental is pleased to announce that Cassie Todd and Claire Browne will be joining the ecology team in August 2016.
Getting a tree survey is just the first step of what can sometimes be a lengthy process, particularly if there are complications, or if things go wrong. You’ve found the arboriculturist to provide the survey, but now you need a contractor, and maybe an ecologist and landscaper too.
Following positive feedback from clients on our Trees in Development CPD, agb Environmental are now offering a seminar on Arboricultural Surveys CPD. The CPD course is designed for construction professionals, and is ideally suited to property consultants and architects. The presentation lasts approximately one hour, and we have found that a question and answer session…
With the school summer holidays nearly upon us, the team at agb Environmental is urging clients working on school schemes to consider the benefits of undertaking ground investigations whilst the children aren’t there.
Trees can be a real asset to a development. Keeping existing trees, or planting new ones can help both to gain planning approval and to sell the properties. But it’s not just a simple case of keeping trees where they aren’t directly in the way, or planting new trees wherever there is space.
It’s very rare that a ground investigation on a potential development site doesn’t identify at least some depth of ‘Made Ground’ overlying natural geological deposits, but what is Made Ground, and how does it affect a development?
With the assessment of potential land contamination being a key part of the planning processes, it is important to consider how best to approach this element of your project.
You’ve had your tree survey done. You’ve got permission from the Council to prune or remove trees. Nothing to stop you getting on with the job now, surely?
agb Environmental provided ecological advice to the Natural Trust in their award winning Wimpole Hall Gothic Tower restoration project.
Following positive feedback from several clients on our Ground Investigation CPD, agb Environmental are now offering an hour long seminar on Ground Investigations.
Accurate plotting of trees is an essential part of any development survey. By making sure your topographic survey covers trees suitably, you won’t also need to pay for your Arboriculturist to plot them as well.
We are regularly asked for a “soil test”, but are all soil tests created equal?
The agb Environmental Geo Team has grown significantly over the past few years, both in numbers, but also in the range of services we offer. We have achieved this through targeted hiring, formal training and project experience.
When it comes to risks of building on brownfield, the risk from potential contaminated land perhaps tops the list.
On the 7th December 2015, Defra published a draft code of practice which sets out how the government will use species control provisions in England.
When building near trees, you need to consider both how your building may damage roots, and how roots may damage your building. You can’t usually see where they are until you start digging, so how can you plan your development to take roots in to account?
When building near trees, there are several factors that can influence where and how far consideration will need to be given to roots.
After a flurry of frantic bat, great crested newt, reptile, dormice and water vole surveys throughout the 2015 ecology survey season, we have been asked (on more than one occasion) what our ecologists do during the Winter months.
In accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) should be both proportionate to the degree of flood risk, and appropriate to the scale, nature and location of the proposed development.
Find out the top three reasons why combining technical services with one consultancy can benefit your development.
The NHBC is currently highlighting the need to consider trees and ground conditions when planning and designing the foundations for buildings.
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…