Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Lighting Assessment SSSI

Lighting Assessment SSSI 

SWEL have undertaken a Lighting Assessment in Rickmansworth, the site is to be developed, and lighting impact were required to be assessed. A thorough baseline study was made with a quantitative assessment of spill.

A  twilight survey was made to identify nearby light pollution sources. 

Riveting - Existing light fittings were surveyed. 
The Lighting Assessment Report was published in good time and was well received by the local planning authority. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Contaminated Land Advice during Corporate Acquisition

Contaminated Land Advice during Corporate Acquisition

SWEL were approached by a company in Cardiff who were in the process of selling to a large multi national. The purchaser was seeking to drive down the acquisition cost using poor land quality as justification.

SWEL were called in to justify whether this was the case.

The purchasers had engaged their own consultants to establish ground quality, and it was observed that they were acting in line with appropriate guidance.

The land in question although of lowered quality was suitable for end use / continued use and as such the the price should not have been affected.




Contaminated Land Cardiff

Sunlight Daylight Assessment

Sunlight & Daylight Assessment - Epsom


Acting on instruction from a repeat client in the Epsom area, Southwest Environmental Limited are undertaking a Sunlight and Daylight Assessment for a prestige development of 2 no. 6 bedroom houses, which occupy the plot of a single smaller dwelling.

The scheme makes very good use of the space available, but unfortunately in the first instance the height of the buildings was a little too great, as it caused loss of daylight to a neighbouring kitchen window that was beyond the loss allowable under BRE 209.



Recommendations were made that involved altering the pitch of the roof, and allowing for a flat roof area, where it would not impact of the character of the property. This reduced overshadowing to the point where, the scheme became acceptable.

The reduction in height did not result in any loss of usable internal space, although it did result in some loss of loft space, which may have been suitable for conversion in the future.


Environmental Consultants London



Ecoli Testing - Sewer Flooding

Ecoli Testing -  Sewer Flooding


Southwest Environmental have been commissioned to undertake verification testing for the presence of  coliform, post clean up of a sewer spill.

SWEL were contacted by a landlord who was concerned with the persistence of pathogens post clean up of a sewer blockage.

The sewer blockage was caused by an item of clothing becoming lodged in the sewer of the ground floor sewer system of a block of flats, this cause sewer water from the above floors to spill out in to the ground floor flat.



The ground floor flat was flooded to a depth of 2 or 3 inches with sewage emanating from above floors. Significant damage was done to finishing, with staud partitioning and some fiberboard flooring being replaced owing to water damage.

The entire floor area was then steam cleaned and all surfaces treated with a disinfectant. It was at this point SWEL were asked to take samples and acquire results.

The samples were sent for propagation testing at a respected laboratory, so as to deduce cfu (colony forming units) of Ecoli.

These results will then used to inform conclusions of a verification report.

Environmental Consultants London

Flood Risk Assessment - Dorset

Flood Risk Assessment - Dorset


Acting on instruction from an architects in dorset, SWEL have been commissioned to carry a flood risk assessment, for a barn conversion.

Flood Risk to Barn Conversion

The flood risk assessment will be based on third party data, which will indicate flood depths in the area, and these flood depths will be used to inform decisions relating to finished floor level and safety of occupants.The flood risk assessment will be submitted to North Dorset District Council, who will be required to present the report to the Environment Agency as statutory consultees.

All being well, the EA will agree with the content of the report, and they will not raise an objection. The project will not be subject to the sequential test as it is a conversion.

Flood Risk Assessment


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Flood Risk Assessment for Hotel - Bristol

Flood Risk Assessment for Hotel - Bristol


Acting on instructions from Global Client Southwest Environment have undertaken a Flood Risk Assessment for a development site in Bristol, UK.

The project encompassese the retention of a sporting facility and the extension of the facility to include a 55 bedroom hotel and several eateries.

A mixed use development like this is ideal for a site within a high risk flood zone as it allows for low vulnerability uses on ground floors and and high vulnerability uses on the upper floors.

This site however, although surrounded by high risk areas, was at low risk of flooding and also had a convenient escape route in the form of a raised flyover, so as to provide an evacuation route in case of a flood.


Flood Risk Assessment Bristol



Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Planning Appeal - South Gloucestershire

Planning Appeal - South Gloucestershire


Southwest Environmental were engaged by a individual developer in the South Gloucestershire area. SWEL had previously supplied a Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan, and also a Flood Risk Assessment for the Site.

The planning application was refused on the grounds that the building character was not applicable to the area in which it was built. Which was clearly wrong, as the settlement has not specific character by which to compare the design of the building.

The other point for refusal was the failure of the site to pass the sequential test. Whilst some LPAs release excellent guidance for conducting the sequential test, the LPA in this instance were insisted on preventing the use of our normal assessment criteria (for determining reasonable alternative sites) whilst not suggesting any other criteria by which the site could be assessed!

To lead to a gridlock in the process, and despite us using our standard method for determining the sequential test, which was favourable, and has been widely accepted nationwide for 9 years the application for refused permission.

The appeal has now been lodged backed up by a 1800 word appeal statement, which sets out the grounds for appeal.

Planning Consultants Bristol