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.
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.
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.