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Farm Conversion to Residential Use, Suffolk

We undertook a EnviroSmart Plus Report to address a planning condition attached to a planning application that had been granted for the conversion of an existing farmstead into a residential dwelling.

Potential risks to controlled waters and future users of the site were identified and qualified through the formation of a preliminary risk assessment. The overall recommendation was that no further investigation was required and accordingly the planning condition was discharged.

We were asked to undertake a Phase 1 Contaminated Land Desk Study with a Site Walkover by an architect acting on behalf of a private developer.

The objective of the assessment was to support a planning condition for the development of an existing farmstead in Elmsett into a residential dwelling. We understood the client’s wishes to proceed quickly so that the development could commence and responded by issuing a final report within five days of the walkover survey being undertaken.

As with most of our Phase 1 Contaminated Land Assessments that are required for planning conditions, the Contaminated Land Officer at Suffolk County Council was contacted to establish any particular concerns and to gather any additional information they may hold. This ensures that when the report is submitted our recommendations are well informed and address any specific issues.

We collated a range of data to draw together an overall picture of the site and the surrounding environment, so that a conceptual model could be produced. This enabled the risks to local sensitive receptors of concern to be identified.

A study of historical maps was undertaken to identify past uses of the land to assess the likelihood of historical contamination. The site was found to have an agricultural background up to the present day, although the farm building was not active from the late 1990s.

Further assessment revealed that the on-site building use had been very light and was not of a contaminative nature.

A site walkover was arranged at a convenient time with the client in order to visually assess the condition of the site and on-site buildings, the surrounding environment and any potential sources of contamination and receptors of concern.

This exercise provides useful information to support the preliminary risk assessment findings and is designed to allow issues to be assessed and documented independently. It also provides an opportunity to consult with the land owner and learn more about the site.

Our contaminated land consultant discussed the site with the regulator and undertook a thorough review of the redevelopment plans in order to determine whether there were likely to be any contamination risks at the site.

Given the low impacting use of the barn and proposed redevelopment plans to only alter the internal layout it was considered unlikely for a source of contamination and associated risk to future site users and the environment to exist.

The conclusion was that the site was low risk, leading to a recommendation that no further assessment (including any intrusive investigations) of the site was deemed necessary in relation to the proposed redevelopment.

We consider that our approach represents best value and delivers clarity to make informed decisions which otherwise could prove costly if missed.

An EnviroSmart Plus Report including a site walkover costs just £795 plus VAT.

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