Soils, drainage and land classification
There are several reasons why you may need to assess the nature of soil or quality of land on a site. As part of the planning system for developments on greenfield sites in England and Wales, the land must be assessed to determine its quality so that, wherever possible, development avoids the destruction of the best and most versatile land (BMV). The method used for this is the Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) of England and Wales system which, if undertaken early enough during site evaluation, can help developers to avoid lengthy delays and redesigns. RSK company ADAS actually developed the current England and Wales ALC system in 1988 when it was part of the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF).
To protect and sustainably reuse soil resources on site within an effective landscape plan, soil types may also need to be quantified so that developers achieve compliance with Defra’s Construction Code of Practice for the Sustainable Use of Soils on Construction Sites.
Temporary construction sites, such as cross-country pipelines or other compounds, also need to understand the nature of the soil and land drainage systems present, and how these should be handled and restored effectively.
As the people who researched and wrote many of the principal documents on soil, land drainage and land classification, we are well acquainted with the concerns of our clients. Often the biggest concern is that permanent development may not be permitted on areas found to be BMV land. For other projects, it may be the potential for delays when land owners and tenants refuse developer access if they feel that the soil and drainage conditions of their land have not been adequately assessed.
If soil and land drainage are not handled correctly from the outset, there is an increased risk of project delays through poor site conditions or pollution from soil erosion.
Pre-emptive identification and key relationships
We look to overcome any potential obstacles for our clients. By getting involved in a project at the earliest stages, we can identify BMV land areas where development may not be permitted or can be designed around.
As a former executive agency of MAFF, we have a strong reputation in the farming community that can assist with attaining sought-after land owner and tenant agreements.
Bringing it all together
ADAS offers soil surveys, land drainage design and land classification as part of a full suite of environmental services. We work hard to guarantee a smooth, seamless service that is tailored to client needs. We work all over the UK and have the resources to respond quickly.