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Spotlight on New Planning Guidance Highlights Importance of Rigorous Land Evaluation

The latest facet of the government's focus on simplifying planning in order to stimulate the construction industry has placed a spotlight on the importance of land evaluation as part of the planning process. New Planning Guidance for contaminated land / land remediation, released by the Department for Communities and Local Government, emphasises the importance of undertaking thorough desk-based research into potential risk from contamination as part of the planning process, in order to help speed up planning approvals.
 
When carried out, efficient rigorous research can have a tangible impact on the speed of planning process and also accurately inform the land remediation process, ultimately helping deliver developments more quickly than if thorough due diligence isn't undertaken during the early stages of planning.
 
David Mole, Business Development Director, comments: "With activity in the construction industry now at a three year high[1], the government's focus on stimulating the industry appears to be working; improving the planning process is a key factor in continuing to drive this growth. While we welcome the new guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government, it does fall short in some areas and we therefore support the EIC contaminated land working group in their suggestions to the DCLG that certain amendments are made, including up-weighting guidance and improving terminology specific to industry professionals and including reference to relevant external guidance. "The provision of poor quality, inaccurate reports can greatly delay the planning process and incur unnecessary costs for clients, which ultimately can have a very real impact on the wider economy, both regionally and nationally.
 
"It is therefore critical that consultants use a reliable system for their reporting. Our site-specific desktop search, Envirocheck, relied upon by land and property professionals, is the source of environmental information, including current and historical mapping and makes a tangible difference to our clients in terms of delivering reports of the very best quality in a timely fashion. More-over land and property professionals are now using web-technology such as Envirocheck Analysis in their workflow processes delivering improved accuracy and time saving benefits when analysing historical mapping as part of their land appraisal studies."
 
The Envirocheck Report is the industry standard desk study information service, providing professionals with fast and highly accurate environmental site assessments. Envirocheck delivers site-specific information with access to comprehensive Ordnance Survey current and historical mapping. The historical maps in the Landmark database exceed 1 million map files from 1840 to present day sourced from Ordnance Survey, Trinity College (Dublin) and the Royal Geographical Society.  The collection of Ordnance Survey maps is supplemented with RAF historical aerial photos and Russian Military Cold War mapping of the UK.  The Envirocheck Report offers a flexible solution by allowing professionals to choose the detail they need depending on their project requirements.
 
For more information, visit www.envirocheck.co.uk.

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Peppa Sheridan
peppa@peptalkpr.co.uk