London residents are expanding underground but what are the hazards?
The Daily Mail have indicated that Planning Permission has been approved for 4,650 basement developments in London over a 10 year period including 112 mega basements.
As part of the planning permission process, the application holder is required to make assurances that buried services, utilities and other obstructions are not located within the vicinity of the works and make arrangements for diversions to be put into place, if necessary.
This can be achieved by either obtaining the statutory undertakers records for that particular site or can include a physical onsite survey using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Electromagnetic technology, especially as records information usually only relates to mains services.
London is littered with tunnels, the post tunnel network, old cellars & basements, plague pits, buried substations and other weird and wonderful subsurface features, as demonstrated by the below extract of a desktop study relating to a London Hospital site.
Desktop Study Extract (London Hospital Site).
On occasion, some clients are asked to prove that a particular service does not run beneath or nearby a proposed development site. We have assisted a client in regards to a culvert recently, specifically for this purpose.
We are sometimes even asked if we can locate the London Tube Network beneath proposed developments - which is unfortunately too deep for us to detect!