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Why getting a land survey is so important for planning developments in the UK


3rd Oct 2021 Home & Garden

Why getting a land survey is so important for planning developments in the UK

Land surveys are important to carry out on new building development sites because they can help to identify issues at a much earlier stage and at the start of a development project rather than midway through.

Unfortunately, there is an endless list of things that can go wrong with building developments. From extreme weather delaying buildings completion, to there being a shortage of building materials, repeatedly getting planning permission requests rejected by the local authority and so on, building developments rarely ever seem to go completely smoothly.

Here we have comprised a guide outlining the reasons why land surveys are so important for planning developments in rural and urban areas of the UK.

What is planning?

Planning is the technical process relating to the development and use of land, planning permission, the protection and use of the environment, and considerations regarding public welfare. Building developments in the UK a lot of the time first need to receive planning permission to allow them to go ahead and crack on with the process of building homes on a plot of land. 

But planning doesn’t solely refer to housing. Planning also takes into consideration the planning and development of things such as local water usage and supply, agricultural land, and protecting parks and conserving environmental areas of natural beauty.

What is urban planning?

Urban planning (sometimes referred to as Town or City Planning) relates to the planning of urban settlements and communities, and the development and use of urban land. Urban planning is key to urban development across the globe, although in different countries you will find there are many different types of urban design.

What is rural planning?

Rural planning is the development and use of land inhabited by people living in rural areas. These rural areas are often far more sparsely populated than urban areas, they also tend to be more remote and people living there can find themselves being cut off from major infrastructure, transport links, and handy local amenities.

Rural planning permissions also take into consideration things near to the development site such as farms, hedgerows, livestock, rivers, streams as well the local rural population and their needs as community.

Land surveys are a key part of getting planning permission

Land surveys are a key stage that takes place prior to any housing development receiving planning permission and being allowed to go ahead in the UK in urban or rural areas. Unfortunately, if land surveys are not done by a reliable ecological consultancy firm to a high standard, later on planning permission for a development may be refused by the Local Planning Authority. To use a company of reputable expert arboriculturists to carry out tree surveys and tree reports, you may be interested in taking a look at using the services of the ecological consultants Arbtech. They have the experience to support you and ensure that your land surveys are completed correctly and improve your chances of having your applications approved.

Know the size of your site and where its boundaries lie

Local planning authorities tend to be very picky about things like boundaries when planning applications are put forward for a development by project managers.

If a development is taking place on a site in a congested urban area, you must consider start to factors relating to its boundaries, such as how far is the site from the main road? Is it right next to an old people’s home or a hospital? Are there train tracks and bus routes nearby which may be major source of noise pollution and become nuisance for residents? Will the houses be built on a flight path near a busy airport? These are factors that may affect a planning application as well as the day-to-day quality of living for residents in the housing development.

A development being close in proximity to local public amenities and infrastructure can have an impact on planning permission decisions. For example, if you want to build a housing development on a protected park ran by the local council which is well used by the public, you will most likely find it very hard to have your planning application accepted.

It’s therefore important both in rural and urban planning to know the details surrounding the site’s size and exactly where the boundaries of the development will lie. If it is deemed that your development will have a significant negative impact on the quality of other people’s lives in the immediate surroundings by the site or in the general local area, it is very likely that the planning application for the development will be turned down and permission won’t be granted to build homes there.

Errors in estimating how many building materials a development will need can be costly

Quantity surveying errors and overestimating the size of a development can be a costly mistake for property development companies to make. Errors relating to assessing the size of the site may lead to property developers mistakenly buying far too many building materials that it will end up not needing to use for the project. Major errors and miscalculations at the early stages of a development project can be the catalyst for further delays and mess up the entire schedule of the project meaning it’s completed much later than the original planned completion date.

Land surveys help you to assess whether the land is suitable for building a housing development

It is not sufficient to gage the suitability of the land by the project manager of a property development firm simply walking around the site and making a few observations with their eyes. When carried out correctly and thoroughly land surveying should be able to use in depth analysis of the land to look into the gradient of the site, the quality of the soil, and identify any ridges. It is beneficial for a building developer to be made aware of these issues with the land by a land surveyor at an earlier stage rather than finding out later to avoid any further hiccups and hindrances in the future.

Getting planning applications approved for developments in the UK can be a tough process, but it is possible to do so with help from a good land surveyor. Although it can be hard to get planning permission, the British also benefit from an impressively large number of breath taking green outdoor spaces and there being more public parks in Britain’s urban areas than you will find in most cities in European countries.

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