Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Water Quality Impact Assessment - Kent

Water Quality Impact Assessment - Kent


Southwest Environmental Limited wear commissioned by a client from the Midlands, to undertake a Water Quality Impact Assessment in Kent. The assessment was for a proposed activity in a water body, where the water quality of said water body was very important to various stakeholders.

Luckily there was pre-existing monitoring data available from a pre-existing site which was utilised to form a baseline study.

The main risk from the activity was judged to be biological contamination of the water body. However, all the potentially impacted stakeholders would like not be affected owing to treatment of the water prior to use that would eliminate the biological contamination.

E Coli - A common Marker for Coliforms


The Water Quality Impact Assessment also identified that the baseline levels of pathogens within the water body as existing were relatively high, this was likely to introduction for farm land and water fowl. As the levels of these pathogens in baseline sample data fluctuated according to rainfall, which in the case of farm land / manure at least would indicate run-off as a source.


ADF Daylight Assessment - Lambeth SW4

ADF Daylight Assessment - Lambeth SW4


Southwest Environmental Limited have recently issued a ADF Daylight Assessment Report for a project in Lambeth.

The design of the project was most unusual. It consisted of a dwelling being built in a gap in a row of terraced houses. Instead of using the full available height to match the existing houses, the development makes use of a basement and a ground floor level only. As such is fairly unique in appearance certainly when considering the immediate vicinity.

Basement & Ground Floor Only Design

This low level construction obviously aided in the minimisation of any day lighting or sun lighting issues, and the dwelling met all criteria relating to external impacts as described in BR209. Interior lighting was found to be excellent throughout with ADF values exceeding guide minimum values by some margin.

SWEL regulatory carry out Sunlight and Daylight Assessments across the Greater London Area. Our reports are well received and we pride our selves on a quick turnaround, often in 5 working days or less.

The above image is reproduced courtesy of Tekton Design & Build SW18.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Part B Permit Application - Wood Waste Burner - Somerset

Part B Permit Application - Wood Waste Burner - Somerset


Acting on instructions from a client in Somerset, Southwest Environmental Limited have started a Part B Permit Application for a number of Wood Waste Burners or Incinerators.

The wood waste burners are located at the clients base of operation and are used to:


  1. Dispose of Wood Waste
  2. Provide a Source of Heat
The Part B Application will include the interpretation of monitoring data to assess impacts on nearby receptors. 



The manufactures information, suggests that the burners operate at a high temperature, and this reduces emissions. Low temperature combustion typically emits more emissions, this is why many incinerators have an "after burner" which is where fuel is used to burn off any unwanted emissions prior to further abatement. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Planning Application for Waste Transfer Station - Hereford

Planning Application for Waste Transfer Station


Southwest Environmental Limited have been commissioned to undertake a planning application for a Waste Transfer Station in Hereford. We provide this service nation wide to wide range of clients.

The proposed transfer station would see up a planning application ahead of a permit application for a general waste transfer station, for the storage, treatment and transfer of wastes.



At present the site used as a builders yard, but the application will see the incorporation of 25 x 25 meter industrial building, weighbridge, storm water system, fire water system and leachate management system.

Impacts considered during the application will be noise, transport and possibly odour. The site is well situated as it is not close to any residential properties.



Southwest Environmental have thus far produced project drawings including Site Location, Building Plans, Layout Plans, Drainage Plans and a Design and Access Statement in support of the project.

Planning Applications London 

Monday, 26 February 2018

Flood Risk Assessment - Catford SE6

Flood Risk Assessment - Catford SE6


Southwest Environmental Limited were commissioned by a client to undertake a Flood Risk Assessment at a site in South East London.

The project was for conversion of a basement to living quarters. This is usually one of the more difficult situation to get passed off with the Environment Agency (as consultees in planning) as a flooded basement is not a very good thing / situation:


  • It is hard to dry out.
  • It is hard to get flood data (most relates to ground level).
  • Hard to prove people will be safe.
All these things / factors  stack up against the normal bunch / collection of criteria / things that must be met to satisfy both the Environment Agency and the Local Planning Authority. 


In this instance there was a slight advantage as the basement on this site was more akin to a lower ground floor, being open on 3 sides, only being below ground level on the street frontage. 

However, it has still been necessary to make a detailed study of  site levels relative to the flood levels. Only in this way can SWEL provide mitigation measures when considering the risk involved. 

Environmental Permit Surrender - Newton Abbot

Environmental Permit Surrender - Newton Abbot 

Southwest Environmental Limited were approached by a Gentleman looking to surrender a Historic End of Life Vehicle License.

When a Licence or Permit is no longer required it has to be "surrendered", this is a process by which the Environment Agency check that nothing bad has happened on site, and the give the Ok for the Permit to be surrendered.

At the time of writing a strategy has been submitted to the Environment Agency that does not include for soil sampling. Soil sample is an expensive part of the surrender process.

Empty Oil Drums - Used for Storage of Scrap Metal


Soil sampling is often required when putting together a Site Condition Report. However, whilst this is useful at the baseline stage, it is not overly useful when surrendering a Historic Permit, especially when the site has had a very long industrial use extending 100's of year in to the past.

How do we decide in this instance who is responsible for any contamination (lead for example) that might be found in the soils? This is impossible to answer.

A desk based site condition report has been assembled that may prove this point. But the report is being scrutinised at present.

Environmental Permit Surrender

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Sunlight and Daylight Assessment - Lambeth SW16

Sunlight and Daylight Assessment - Lambeth SW16

Acting on instruction from a repeat client Southwest Environmental Limited have carried out a daylighting assessment for a mews style development in Lambeth, London.

The concern here was not impact on existing neighbours but the provision of adequate light for future occupants. 

Sky Angel has a Strong Effect on ADF Values


An ADF value was calculated for each room with all assessed rooms demonstrating adequate lighting. 

There are a number of factors which effect the ADF value of a room, but the most important ones are window size relative to window size. 

Southwest Environmental carry out around 20 sunlight and daylight studies in London every year. If the design does not produce adequate light or excessive impact then we can offer design advice, which will normally rectify the problem. 

Sustainability & Energy Statement - Bristol

Sustainability & Energy Statement - Bristol 


Acting on instructions from a private client Southwest Environmental have prepared a Sustainability statement in support of a planning application in Bristol. The site lies in the Windmill Hill Area which is not overly far from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station.

The proposed development sees the conversion of a a terraced house into two flats. The sustainability statement was produced and covers the carbon reduction (40%) as required by Bristol City Policies, and also looked in to Cycle Parking and Refuse Storage.

Cycle parking is an important provision as it means that future occupants may use their bike, rather than their car. This keeps them fit and also reduces traffic on the roads. As of February 2018 transport is the biggest single emitter of CO2 in the UK, even larger than the energy generation sector which is recently "over took".

Sheffield Hoops


Cycle parking is normally provided via the use of the sheffield hoop. These allow for an easy rest, and an anchor point when parking a cycle. However owing to the site layout, there was no room for sheffield hoops to the front of the property.

The 20% carbon reduction was met via a combination of energy saving measures and solar PV power generation.

Energy Statement Bristol

Flood Risk Assessment - Weston-Super-Mare

Flood Risk Assessment - Weston-Super-Mare

Based in Bristol Southwest Environmental Limited have recently carried out a Flood Risk Assessment for a Site in Weston Super Mare.

A large area of Weston Super Mare is low lying and is prone to flooding for tidal (sea) and fluvial (river) sources. In order to assess the risk, it is important to get hold of the best possible data which might indicate future flood depths on site.

Weston s Mare has good flood defences. 


Most of Weston Super Mare would flood in a serve tidal event, if the town did not have flood defences. But luckily it does! The problem is finding out how good these defences are. For example are the defences tall enough to keep flood waters out of the town.

Accurate Flood Risk Mapping can Help Produce a Good Report


The answer for the most part is yes. The flood defences in Weston Super Mare are tall enough to keep out a 1:1000 year tidal flood. But this depends on a few things:


  • Are the strong enough?
  • Have they been well maintained?
  • Will they be maintained in the future?
  • Will they be removed or changed at some point in the future?
The first two question above are fairly easily answered given access to the correct data. However, the the latter two will likley remain unanswered.






Surface Water Drainage Design - Newton St. Cyres, Devon, UK

Surface Water Drainage Design - Newton St. Cyres, Devon, UK

Southwest Environmental have produced drainage reports on a very rapid turnaround for a private client in Devon. 

Planning officers at Devon County Council concerned with the changes to site run-off characteristics pending an extension. 

Planning was due to be determined just a few days ahead of when Southwest Environmental were commissioned. We produced a report on a 24 hour turn around, this was then put before the concerned planning officer and the application as a whole was approved. 

Impermeable Surfaces were Removed


We later provided further details of the surface water scheme to be implemented. Including size and design of the soak away in accordance with BRE 365 and various options which might be considered under Part H of the building regulations . 


Site Investigation & Phase 2 Assessment - Islington, London. N19

Site Investigation & Phase 2 Assessment - Islington, London. N19

Acting on instructions from a corporate client Southwest Environmental Limited have carried out an Environmental Site Investigation in connection with a property acquisition / purchase. 

SWEL managed to deliver a reduced scope report, sufficient for our client's needs within a 3 week period, despite having trouble on site with buried services. 

The scope included the collection of 20 soils samples, with breaking out at each position. There were 3 deeper holes drilled, for installation of boreholes for gas and ground water monitoring. Although this was not carried out owing to time frame. 

Statistical Analysis of Results 


The site was operational at the time of the investigation, with high level of vehicular and pedestrian traffic,  despite this SWEL managed to complete site works within 2 days.

Soil testing was conducted on a rapid turnaround, and results were published as part of a contamination assessment (Phase 2). The site was found to have elevated levels Benzo-a-Pyrene, are carcinogen and as such will require remediation. 


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Green Travel Plan - Middlesex (Ealing)

Green Travel Plan - Middlesex (Ealing)


Acting on instruction from a client in Middlesex, Southwest Environmental Limited have prepared a Green Travel Plan, which has been submitted to Ealing Council for scrutiny.



There are various thresholds for travel plans above which a development will require to implement one. They can be asked for at planning or as a condition of planning.

A Green Travel Plan is a package of measures designed to reduce car use originating from new housing by supporting alternative forms of transport and reducing the need to travel in the first place.

It is important to encourage users to consider using sustainable methods of transport to help reduce the impact of car travel on the environment. By working in close partnership with the local council Council and other strategic partners, it is important to continue developing and improving the range of travel options available to site users.

The report was issued on a quick turnaround, and is now awaiting consideration by the local planning authority.