Monday, 1 July 2013

Spending Review Focus: Government’s planned increased expenditure on infrastructure

The Government’s announcement is clearly excellent news for the industry. Following the double dip recession and the near-miss of a triple dip, this cash injection is exactly what we need to get Britain building again to help ensure we continue to compete on the world stage.

At present, our rail system falls woefully behind those on the continent and if Britain is to continue to be at the forefront of business then we simply must have the infrastructure in place to facilitate this. The investment in High Speed Two (HS2) and the commitment to shale gas extraction on a large scale will result in a tremendous boost to construction and the country’s economy.

Of course, there will be very valid concerns regarding the impact of the construction of HS2 and the potential for fracking to nearby properties and potential building sites. At present, local authorities have only identified properties within 200 metres of the proposed rail link as likely to be affected, but this isn’t a true representation. Properties a long way outside this boundary – including commercial buildings - could incur increased noise and environmental nuisance during the construction period and beyond, as well as potentially being rendered unstable due to fracking.

George Osborne has claimed that fracking is ‘environmentally safe’ and could provide ‘cheap energy’ for many years to come, however, small earthquakes have already occurred in the North West, where recent reports indicate that property values could drop by as much as 30%[1].

With the latest figures form the British Geological Survey revealing that shale gas deposits are far more widespread than previously thought, it’s clear that fracking could affect thousands of households across the country in the very near future.

Equally, a site may be considered at risk when in actual fact, it isn’t. As a result, transactions may be cancelled unnecessarily.

It is therefore vital, in order to remove the risks from property transactions, the proper checks are carried out prior to a land purchase.

Landmark’s Envirocheck Report is the industry standard desk study information service, providing professionals with fast and highly accurate environmental site assessments. Envirocheck delivers site-specific information with access to comprehensive Ordnance Survey current and historical mapping. The historical maps in the Landmark database exceed 1 million map files from 1840 to present day sourced from Ordnance Survey, Trinity College (Dublin) and the Royal Geographical Society.  The collection of Ordnance Survey maps is supplemented with RAF historical aerial photos and Russian Military Cold War mapping of the UK.  The Envirocheck Report offers a flexible solution by allowing professionals to choose the detail they need depending on their project requirements.

David Mole
Business Development Director, Environment – Land & Property
Landmark Information Group 

Information about Landmark Information Group and its Envirocheck range of services is available at

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