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How Planning Alerts enables Exolum and Fisher German to mitigate risks

Exolum was looking at around 10 planning applications per month, manually but with Landmark’s Planning Alerts’ automation, Exolum has the reassurance of knowing nothing will be missed.

Exolum operates a pipeline network that transports high-pressure liquid products around the UK, such as aviation fuel. The team needs rapid, reliable notification on planning applications that might affect its infrastructure in multiple local authorities.

3 minute read

The situation

Exolum operates a 2,000km high-pressure fuel pipeline, pumping aviation fuel at 10,000 litres per minute to airports around the UK. Its pipeline infrastructure is static, but the nature of its operations means that vigilance is required around potential planning applications that might impact either the pipeline itself or access to it. Many planning applications would pose no risk. But some demand in-depth analysis, potentially leading to formal responses.

The challenge

Although the pipeline was acquired from the UK Government in 2015, Exolum is not a statutory undertaker. This means it does not receive automatic notifications about planning applications in the vicinity of its infrastructure. The pipeline sits in multiple local authorities too, which adds another layer of complexity. This was a challenge for the many stakeholders and external partners involved in maintenance and site operations, around the UK.

Exolum approached Fisher German LLP – a market-leading firm of chartered surveyors and specialist property consultants – for guidance on a solution that would enable them to stay better informed about planning applications coming to light, near its pipeline infrastructure.

The solution

Fisher German works with all kinds of land and property clients, such as utility providers, fibre networks, and major infrastructure management projects. The team were already aware of Landmark’s Planning Alerts’ service, and recommended its integration as part of a full-service solution for Exolum.

Designed with asset managers, property owners, land buyers, and any property professional who tracks assets in mind, Planning Alerts delivers live notifications direct to clients.

As Fisher German’s Partner, Sam Parton, explained: “These are high-pressure pipelines, which means there’s high level of risk involved. We use Planning Alerts to stay abreast of all planning notifications that are coming in, via every Local Authority.

The software localises to assets, to areas, and even to entire portfolios of property, which means we can filter the data and be specific about what we’re analysing. We can then provide a confident, up-to-date assessment to our client, Exolum, about any potential impact on their pipeline.

Sometimes, the business needs to send a short standard response, but there are situations in which the business will need to raise a considered objection or ask for more information.”

As a subscription service, Planning Alerts sends out updates that provide a complete picture of the evolving planning landscape. Crucially, it also provides a full and detailed account of available planning history, which means that precedents can be identified, back to 1997.

The result

In the past, Exolum was relying on manual processes to identify planning applications that may have caused concern for operations and maintenance of the pipeline.

Sam: “Exolum was looking at around 10 planning applications per month, manually. But with Planning Alerts’ automation, Exolum has the reassurance of knowing nothing will be missed. Over the last six months or so, we’ve seen a justified increase of around 50% in the number of planning applications that needed further examination. This is decreasing the risk to the infrastructure, significantly.”


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