Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Bespoke Flood Risk Activity Permit Application - Barnstaple

Bespoke Flood Risk Activity Permit Application - Barnstaple


Acting upon instruction from a client in Barnstaple, Devon, Southwest Environmental Limited have submitted a bespoke permit application for a flood risk activity permit.

The proposal was for a lowering of ground level within 9 meters of a main river. It was thought strange that lower of ground adjacent to a river require a permit, owing to likley positive flood storage benefits, but the Environment Agency are concerned with the disruption of the channel, and the potential for pollution to enter the river.



To that end the application forms etc. were filed and a number of supporting documents such as plannings and environmental management systems have been submitted, so the Environment agency can determine the application for this flood risk activity permit.

Flood risk activity permits are a relatively recent addition to the Environmental permitting regime, however they have been in forced under older regulatory regimes prior to being migrated to the EPR regs.

There are a number of standard flood risk activity permits available for an obscure set of activities, so for most operation a bespoke flood risk activity permit will be required.

Environmental Consultants London

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

(TEEP) Assessments

(TEEP) Assessments 


TEEP (‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable’ ) Assessments are designed to establish whether separate waste collection are technically, environmentally and economically practicable.

Based on the continued uptake of segregated waste collection, it is clear that the general outcome of technically, environmentally and economically practicable TEP Assessments, is that comingled waste collection is not technically, environmentally and economically practicable.



The requirement for TEEP stems from The EU revised Waste Framework Directive (r-WFD) was transposed into UK law through the Waste (England and Wales) Regulation 2012. The r-WFD clarifies key concepts such as the definition of waste, recycling and disposal. The directive places more emphasis on the waste hierarchy and improving the quality of collected recyclable material that is sent to re-processors.

Various quangos have produced guidance on how best to implement the directive, but a significant part of the process is the TEEP assessment, at the time of writing there are 42 councils in the UK, that have not done this.

If you require assistance in carrying out you TEEP, then please get in touch SWEL can help.


Monday, 15 May 2017

Application for Connection to Thames Water - Barking

Application for Connection to Thames Water - Barking


Southwest Environmental Limited have recent applied for a connect to thames water sewers, on behalf of a repeat client. The application procedure is not overly onerous, but it does help to have background knowledge of the site.

Back in 2014 SWEL produce a Surface Water Drainage Strategy for this site and so we are familiar with the asset arrangement in the area, along with the flow rates from surface and foul water outputs.

It helps if the assets in the area are understood. . . 

. . . location plans were sourced. . . 

. . . invert levels should also be considered. 

This is the more recent of numerous applications we have undertaken on behalf of developers in London. The process does take a while Fees to Thames Water are around £500, and then we would charge time on top of this.

If you need any help with applications to Thames Water or Anglian Water or others, then please get in touch.

Environmental Consultants London 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Site Investigation - Bristol

Site Investigation - Bristol

Recently Southwest Environmental Limited submitted a  Desktop Study for a site in Bristol, to Bristol City Council for scrutiny. Despite SWEL recommending that the site was fit for use, with no further work recommended BCC were of the opinion, that some further investigations were required. 

BCC were very pragmatic in the scope of these further investigations, and limited the scope to a number of hand dug trial pits, which were then used to ascertain the extent of made ground on site.

The finding were that despite having some made ground in the form of crushed brick under the driveway, the ground under the proposed structure was natural ground.

Brick Footings

Made Ground . . . of Brick


Ordinarily it would be standard practice to take samples and analyse them for a suite of chemicals as part of a Site Investigation . However, in this instance the checks for the presence of made ground, combined with floor slab sub-ventilation were deemed as an appropriate mitigatory measure.

This saved around £5000 in costs, which on a small project would represent a significant percentage of  the overall project value.



Contaminated Land Assessment - Clevedon

Contaminated Land Assessment  - Clevedon 


Southwest Environmental Limited were approached by a client who wanted to check the ground quality of a site that they were planning to purchase. The site was a petrol station, and as such there was potential for the site to be contaminated.

Typical Petrol Station c. 1960.
All available secondary data was collected in the form of a Desktop Study, and this concluded that it would be prudent to undertake some soil sampling. Samples were taken and tested, and the ground was also checked for any sign of VOCs emanating from hydrocarbons.

These were then used in a quantitative risk assessment for contaminated land .

The reporting was carried out within the allotted time frame, and on budget.



Flood Risk Assessment - Exeter

Flood Risk Assessment  - Exeter


Southwest Environmental Limited have recently carried out a flood risk assessment for a site in Exeter, Devon. The site was very close to the river exe flood relief channel and as such it was important to establish whether it was indeed possible to build a dwelling at the location that would:


  1. Mitigate Against Flood Risk 
  2. Remain in Keeping with Surrounding Buildings
The problem is that is flood depths are too great then a building ground floor use may have to be limited to no residential use. If neighbouring buildings are "normal" houses then the proposed structure may look out of place, and this can cause problems when in planning .

Topography Indicates a Level Area

The Site is Well Within Flood Zone 3

Flood Depths were Fairly Deep on Site
In this instance SWEL were to prepare a report to set before the Environment Agency for scrutiny outside of formal planning. In this way we can check that the project is viable from a flood risk point of view prior to proceeding with planning proper and all the extra time and expense that that involves.