To help meet the current demand for basement development projects, Syntegra has decided to launch a new Basement Impact Assessment (BIA) service.
A BIA outlines the direct and indirect impact of a proposed development.
Given the nature of basement projects, with the associated risks of potentially undermining neighbouring properties, flooding, health and safety concerns, air pollution, noise disturbance, loss of biodiversity and interference in the natural water course, a number of agencies are likely to be involved in the development process.
And while there is currently no national guidance on standard procedures, each site has to have its own BIA relating to the specific site and the particular development being proposed.
Many planning authorities insist a BIA is obtained to support the application for a basement development.
A raft of legislation covers basement development including Building Regulations, Environmental Protection Act, Tree Preservation Orders, Housing Act and Highways Act.
A BIA includes details on the site’s history and underlying geology, the impact the work will have on drainage, sewage, surface water and ground water along with ground movement.
The process follows five steps:
1. Screening – identifying potential areas of concern in a series of questions from the planning authority.
2. Scoping – data collated on the areas of concern.
3. Site investigation and desk studies.
4. Impact assessment – evaluation of direct and indirect implications.
5. Review and decision-making, including the council’s appraisal of the BIA.
Matters that can be covered in a Basement Impact Assessment include:
Engineering Design and Construction Statement
Demolition and Construction Management Plan
Flood Risk Assessment
Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDs)
Syntegra MD Alan King said: ‘We have been monitoring the growing interest in basement developments for a while now and believe that trend is only going to increase as people seek to invest in existing properties at least as much as moving on the property ladder.
‘It’s clearly crucially important that a BIA forms a key element in the planning authority’s decision-making process and as such we felt our expertise in the overall built environment sector lent itself perfectly to an expansion into this service delivery.
‘And our team is well acquainted with planning laws and other building development policies and procedures so we have excellent systems in place to ensure we provide a detailed service to clients.
‘As planning can be a complex area, it can feel daunting embarking on a development project with all the administration ahead.
‘So our team will guide you through the process and indeed take the reins for much of it for you.’
Anyone interested in discussing our Basement Impact Assessment service in more detail should contact Syntegra directly.