Speaking to an engineering contact recently served as a good reminder of a service that we should be promoting more actively.
Take a piece of land. One of the first things you as a developer will want to do is establish what risks are associated with the site. In other words, what is going to prevent the development of the site or act as a constraint to its development. You will appoint a consultant to carry out a technical due diligence (involving Phase 1 desk studies and the like). Well, we’ve done similar exercises many times in respect of trees, landscape and ecology over the years and clients generally find the exercise incredible value for money and a real insight that can save time, and of course money, during the design and planning application stages.
Instead of playing a guessing game or taking a risk with proposed layouts, particularly where trees and ecology are concerned, wouldn’t it be good to know certain things before pen is put to paper? We have a number of clients who regularly pick up the phone, sometimes before even instructing the topographical survey, asking us just to have a quick look at the site and advise what to focus on or what to avoid.
From a (reasonably) quick walk over, we can pretty confidently tell:
- What trees the local planning authority is likely to want to keep;
- What trees could be reasonably removed to maximise the ‘development window’;
- How close you can build to certain retained trees;
- If there are likely to be any ecology constraints on site (bats, badgers and newts for example);
- What potential positive aspects you can use to promote the idea of development.
Of course this doesn’t negate the need for full tree and ecology surveys as part of the application package, however it can give you a great ‘heads-up’ on where the constraints (and opportunities!) are. Obviously scale is a factor here in that for smaller sites it may be more economical to simply go straight to detailed survey, however for some of the larger sites, the earlier you get a steer on what can put a dent in your development aspirations the better. Money well spent?
To get an advance ‘heads-up’ on your forthcoming projects get in touch:Contact us