Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Landmark Raises the Bar in the Sustainability Software Market

We're pleased to announce the launch of Sustainability Sure, a new platform brought to market via a strategic partnership with ManageCO2. An innovative environmental software development company whose mission is to make carbon, sustainability and energy management easy. 
Sustainability Sure is a new sustainability platform that meets the full requirements of the new (October 2013) mandatory carbon reporting for all UK incorporated and stock exchange listed companies. Uniquely, Sustainability Sure combines energy meter analytics, CRC compliance and reporting, GHG reporting and CSR in a single platform. It also conveniently enables companies to automate the data collection and data entry without any IT implementation. In addition the management information derived from Sustainability Sure delivers benefits beyond simply legislative compliance, such as enabling costs to be allocated to specific cost centres as opposed to rolling up to a general ‘catch all’ corporate pot. This platform therefore meets the needs of the Finance Director as well as the Head of Sustainability. Ultimately, Sustainability Sure is a comprehensive and highly intuitive sustainability platform.

We, as Landmark forged a reputation in the energy and sustainability market via their Carbon Counter product, launched in 2010, to help companies manage their emissions in light of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation. Sustainability Sure now supersedes Carbon Counter.

Sustainability Sure is powered by the ManageCO2 software platform which is doubly accredited and independently tested by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). Thanks to this accreditation, Sustainability Sure is the only software solution that has been independently tested against, and meets, the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064 (the international standard for environmental management) as well as DEFRA’s standards of 2012 and June 2013.

ManageCO2’s success stems from the fact that the software was purpose built to fit both the current legislative framework and also easily adapt to future legislation. This has resulted in a product that is seamless and straightforward in its day-to-day application.

David Mole, Business Development Director, Landmark Information Group comments:

“Sustainability Sure combines ManageCO2’s carbon, energy and sustainability software excellence with Landmark’s experience, highly regarded reputation, and excellent sales and marketing teams to offer a truly market leading product.”

Sustainability Sure has already helped a leading university better manage their emissions. As the platform automatically calculates certain exemptions which were valid in this case for the university, analysis showed that the university had in fact overpaid tax on its emissions.  This was flagged because of the way that Sustainability Sure works ensures that data is automatically entered and checked for errors, before generating an automatic report. This results in a far simpler and smoother process for the user.

Adrian Fleming, CEO and Founder of ManageCO2, said:

“Both Landmark and ManageCO2 have an aligned vision for the future of this sector, and this was a logical next step in the development of our relationship. It is a fantastic partnership, one which together makes us probably the largest global carbon and sustainability software provider in terms of client numbers, which currently is in excess of 200 companies with their 100,000 buildings stretching across all seven continents.”

As UK remains on high alert, Know Your Flood Risk campaign launches new Flood Recovery Guide to support victims through the clean-up

Last week saw the largest tidal surge in 60 years, resulting in devastating floods across much of South East England. With further flood warnings being issued across the UK, data from the Met Office suggests that flooding could threaten to become an even more regular occurrence over the coming years.

Since 1960, there has been a gradual increase in how often the UK experiences periods of extreme rainfall. Intense rainfall, which used to occur on average once every hundred days, has gradually become more frequent so that in the last decade heavy rain now falls roughly once every 70 days[1]. The impact of this can be felt nationwide and, with almost 1,400 properties having been affected by the most recent floods alone, more and more homeowners and tenants alike are being urged to take into account the practical considerations surrounding recovery.

Against this backdrop, and in order to provide householders with practical advice in the event of a flood, Know Your Flood Risk has launched its new Flood Recovery Guide. Written by Mary Dhonau, Chief Executive of the Know Your Flood Risk campaign, along with Researcher Carly Rose,  both of whom have first-hand experience of flooding, the document offers an accessible step-by-step guide to help victims through the initial stages of recovery, as well as in the months to come regardless of whether the property is insured or not.

As Mary explains: “When I first flooded, I was caught utterly unaware. I was woken in the middle of the night by my son telling me that downstairs was under a foot of water. I lost all my youngest son’s playgroup drawings along with many other irreplaceable photographs and possessions. However what struck me at the time was the complete lack of help or guidance for people such as myself, caught in that situation.

 “It can be extremely traumatic, and facing the clean-up process is daunting. However, by drawing on our own experiences we’ve been able to break the problem down into a series of manageable steps. It can be tempting to try and tackle everything at once, but there are some really important factors you need to take into consideration, from liaising with your Loss Adjuster through to some really basic health and safety considerations.”

“The average flood claim is estimated to be around £30,000,” Mary continues. “However in many cases householders, particularly in the rental market, don’t even have the benefit of flood insurance simply because it is too expensive. If this is the case there are still a number of things you can do, and often there are grants and charities in place to support you. The real benefit of this guide is that it offers guidance and advice regardless of your situation. Every flood is different, and every house is unique, so the processes you need to follow will not necessarily be the same as your neighbour. It can take up to 12 months before any repairs are completed, but with the right support and guidance, you can ensure that the recovery process is on track even from day one.”    

“We understand as well as anyone the loss, disruption and heartache that flooding causes,” Mary concludes. “However recovery is possible and, even when the situation seems most overwhelming, simply following some practical steps can make all the difference in terms of getting things back on track following the damage caused by flooding.” 

The Know Your Flood Risk Flood Recovery Guide offers a wealth of practical hints, tips and guidance, along with third-party information sources and advice, all presented in an accessible, easy-to-follow format. The Guide is free to download at

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Subsidence - Advice for Conveyancers

In his latest blog, Andy Lucas, Managing Director of Property Assure, looks at properties that have been affected by subsidence and the key documents Conveyancers should be obtaining.

The Valuation Survey includes questions pertaining to evidence of movement and subsidence.  (It should be noted that the Valuation Surveyor is not equipped to identify whether the property is at risk of subsidence only if there is evidence of its occurrence – but we’ll revisit this in a later blog).  Where historic subsidence repairs have been identified the Conveyancer should obtain the supporting documentation to verify that any repairs have been undertaken accordance with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) subsidence classification and repair guidelines and or whether an insurance claim was made by the vendor.

There are 2 main documents that should be obtained:

·         It must be remembered that a significant proportion of subsidence repairs do not require underpinning of the foundations.  However, if any underpinning has been carried out it is a notifiable operation under the Building Regulations and as such, inspections and sign off by the Local Council Building Control Officer should have been carried out.  A formal Completion Certificate should be issued by the Council at completion.

·         Where the repair has been undertaken as an insurance claim, the insurer appointed Building Surveyor / engineer should have produced a Certificate of Structural Adequacy.  This is issued under guidance of the Institution of Structural Engineers (1994) although there is no actual contractual or legal requirement for one to be provided and it is not a guarantee. 

So in the event that previous subsidence is identified you should look to obtain the Completion Certificate issued by the Local Authority and Certificate of Structural Adequacy issued by the engineer/ surveyor who specified and periodically inspected any repairs under an insurance claim.   They should both be available from the Property Owner

The first step is to understand your subsidence risk.  If previous cracking or subsidence has been identified it is always worthwhile appointing a Building Surveyor / engineer to undertake a specific check on the property and review any supporting documentation and thereafter identify whether specific further investigations are required (soil samples, monitoring etc). 

Visit for more guidance and advice on Subsidence.

Andy Lucas
Managing Director
Property Assure Ltd

Risky Business 2013 : Environmental Due Diligence Conference

David Mole Business Development Director, Landmark Information Group 

Around 100 delegates, including environmental consultants, engineers, geo-technical consultants and members of the media attended our flagship annual conference Risky Business 2013.

Held at the Institute of Civil Engineers on Wednesday 27th November, speakers including media commentator Jonathan Davis (Jonathan Davis Wealth Management), unexploded ordnance expert and former paratrooper Simon Cooke (6 Alpha Associates) and Chairman of DEFRA’s Contaminated Land National Expert Panel, Andrew Wiseman( Harrison Grant Solicitors) delivered the latest developments in the field of environmental due diligence. 

Jonathan, Simon and Andrew were joined by fellow industry leaders to deliver updates on a range of topical issues such as the implication of the National Planning Policy Framework on land affected by contamination, ground-gas, European air quality, the macroeconomic outlook for the UK economy, unexploded ordnance, the CL:AIRE Definition of Waste: Code of Practice, flooding, legal issues and sustainability beyond risk-based management.

New to this year’s Risky Business was the launch of our Technology Tomorrow exhibition to showcase our exciting upcoming technological developments including mobile devices and workflow efficiencies.   Delegates were given exclusive access to test and provide feedback on the beta versions of our online map analysis tool, Envirocheck Analysis, and Envirocheck Analysis Mobile, which clients will be able to use during their site investigations.  Please do view our latest video here.

We’d like to thank our speakers for providing such topical insight and for generating much debate. Risky Business 2013 has once again been a huge success and we are still receiving positive feedback along with suggestion for next year’s agenda.  Please do email me at for any subjects you would like to be covered at future events. 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Landmark Quest wins ‘Best Valuations Technology' at Mortgage Finance Gazette 2014 awards

We are proud to reveal that Landmark Quest has been announced as the winner of the ‘Best Valuations Technology' category, in the prestigious Mortgage Finance Gazette 2014 awards.

The award recognises our Q-Mobile software and tablet technology and the successful implementation with Connells Survey & Valuation. The team at Connells has embedded Q-Mobile across its business, nationwide, and is the latest development in its strategy to extend its mortgage valuation report validation, efficiency and quality.

Adopting Q-Mobile and Panasonic Toughbook devices is part of Connells' planned next-generation service delivery and moves to dramatically reduce paper-based, manual reporting across the business. Connells' adoption followed 12-months comprehensive development and live testing across its full suite of customer services.

Liam Parker, Product Development Director, collected the award on behalf of the team, and was joined by Ross Bowen, Managing Director of Connells Survey & Valuation, who was our guest for the evening.

Commenting on the award, Mark Milner, CEO of Landmark Information Group said: "Congratulations to the team on winning this prestigious award from Mortgage Finance Gazette. A great deal of work has gone into the launch of Q-Mobile and it is extremely gratifying to be recognised by the judges for our efforts. Through Q-Mobile, Connells is aiming to improve the overall efficiency and quality of its valuation reporting process, whilst providing enhanced data validation and security for its customers.”

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Landmark Information Group supports next generation of property professionals with University Lecture Programme

We have launched a University Lecture Programme across the UK, to provide MSc and MBA Real Estate students with an insight into the range of digital mapping datasets that are available in today’s commercial world, and to support property or land-related projects that are underway as part of their courses. 

Lectures have taken place at Oxford Brookes University this week, whereby students from its Real Estate & Construction Department attended the session to trial the web-based Promap digital mapping application.  By using the tool, students were able to access Ordnance Survey mapping, plus a wide range of additional datasets, which will support them in the analysis of their course development projects, which are based on hypothetical development sites across the country.  

Carole Ankers, Product Development Director, said: “We have launched our University Lecture Programme to provide students who are studying topics related to real estate, construction or land development with direct access to our Promap digital mapping application. By doing so, they benefit from first-hand experience of the system which is widely used by architects, surveyors, developers and other related professionals.  Plus, all students receive a certificate to confirm that they have used the system during their degree course and passed the project, which can be emphasised when seeking future employment.”

The lecture at Oxford Brookes University is the third visit orchestrated by Landmark, which has been well received by students and staff as Nick French, Professor in Real Estate at Oxford Brookes University confirms: “We always want our students to have as much practical experience as possible. It is important that they develop their skills and knowledge of systems used by property professionals, to help prepare them for a career after university.”

With over 25,000 users, our Promap service is used by surveyors, architects, property and land developers, builders, engineers and industry professionals that require instant access to Ordnance Survey maps and related digital mapping data.   It also provides access to 3D models, height data, aerial photography and geo-data, including environmental, planning and geological reports to identify potential site issues.
For any universities interested in joining the Promap University Lecture Programme, please contact Paul Marshall on 07798 611 121 or email

For more information on Landmark Information Group visit:, read the Landmark blog, follow the team on Twitter, subscribe to the YouTube Channel or connect with via LinkedIn

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

HM Land Registry data launches on Promap Labs

We are delighted to announce that HM Land Registry data has been made available within its Promap Labs portal, as part of a time-limited trial that commences today.  The trial has been designed to provide a fast and convenient way to obtain land ownership data by selecting a specific area on a map, creating significant efficiencies for land and property developers, and the wider property industry.

For a four-week period, freehold and leasehold Title Numbers, plus proprietorship information for non-private individuals is available to access directly within Promap Labs.  For the purpose of the trial, the area available is the NN post-code region, which covers most of Northamptonshire.  By accessing the data via Promap Labs, it creates significant efficiencies over the traditional address-searching methods, which require a more manual approach.

Carole Ankers, Product Development Director, Landmark Information Group said, “We are anticipating a huge amount of interest in the HM Land Registry data trial on our Promap Labs portal, as this is something our customers are often asking about.  We greatly encourage everyone in the industry to test the functionality and provide as much feedback as possible, so this can be provided to Land Registry for evaluation. The aim is to determine the usability, functionality and whether anything else could be provided, so the Land Registry can shape its future roll-out plans and we can develop the best service in Promap.”

From within Promap Labs, users can define an area or site and initiate a search of the Land Registry database, including details of land registration and Title Numbers.  For registered land, it provides instant access to related contact details, making it easy for users to identify non-Private Individual land or property owners.  

To access the trial, visit and click on Promap View where the HMLR data will be visible. The trial concludes on 30 November 2013 so early feedback is welcomed.

For more information on Landmark Information Group visit:, read the Landmark blog, follow the team on Twitter, subscribe to the YouTube Channel or connect with via LinkedIn.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Brighty's Thames Path Challenge 100K Walk... of doom!

On 14th September 2013 I attempted to walk 100K for The Brain Tumour Charity.  This is my story…

PART 1 – How it all started

On the 18th of July 2012, I walked into Dr Flossman's office hoping he'd tell me why I'd been feeling dizzy lately. His opening line was a good 'un... "well Scott the scans show something the size of a tennis ball in the back of your skull and the radiographers notes say that it looks like a baddy"...! Well that certainly got my attention.

The doc sent me off with an impressive set of MRI scans in hand and the next job was breaking the news to family and friends. To be fair I was pretty laid back about the whole thing, I’d been feeling pretty rubbish for over 6 months by that point and had been misdiagnosed a few times, so think I was just happy they’d figured out the problem. Those around me on the other hand were not quite so chilled. They did a good job hiding it but I knew they had at least some fear I was a gonna! I admit I did have a small period of doubt myself just before meeting my (fantastic) neurosurgeon Mr Richard Stacey. I started to wonder why I had been given the scans to take to with me… surely the doc would need to study them well in advance… maybe he doesn’t to because it’s inoperable??? Natural I guess but thought it best not to share these thoughts with Mum and Dad on route to the hospital!

Anyway, doc put my mind at rest – good news being that it was operable and he was keen to get stuck in asap. Fine by me. As tumours go this one was quite easy to get to being located at the back of the brain just beneath the surface of the skull. Caveat being that it was a very unusual tumour and they didn’t know what it was. Also they could not tell whether it was malignant or benign. Doc was more inclined to think it was benign though due to my surprisingly good reflexes, general health etc. I believe his words were that due to the size of the thing I should be, “bedridden by now” and if it was malignant I probably wouldn’t, “be here at all”! All positive stuff then…

After a slight delay scheduling the surgery a date was set for the 9th August. This was all rather handy as it was smack bang in the middle of Olympics! Therefore during the build up and recovery (hopefully!) I would watch every minute of it… sweet! Particularly good news given that I was rough as hell by this point so laying on the sofa was as good as it got. Mental state was still all good though – still laid back about it and keen to get in there.

8th August arrived and I was off to the Neurology Department, John Radliffe Hospital, Oxford. Not feeling nervous and a nice private room waiting for me. Was pleased to hear I didn’t need my head shaved (just a couple of spots to stick a few weird diode things to my head) and in for an MRI and CAT scan. Then off to bed for a good night’s sleep. Now believe it or not the only nerves I felt at that point was the needle they were about to be stuck in me! I'd only ever had blood taken once before so wasn’t a fan!! I soon got used to that happening anyway.

All was well wheeling down to the operating theatre chatting away to the anesthetists... they were quite right when they said I’d fall asleep on the count of 10 (quite nice drifting off!) and the next thing I knew I woke up in Neuro ICU. Doc was by my bed and proceeded to explain the surgery didn’t quite go as planned and I’d have to go under again. After 9 hours on the operating table he decided it was too risky to continue. Trips to pathology proved inconclusive as the whether it was benign or malignant so better to be safe than sorry and they sewed me back up. I was fine with the news and keen to go back in to finish the job. Not quite sure why I was so laid back about the whole thing as stuff like that would normally freak me out - guess you accept it pretty easily when you’re feeling rough and it’s the only option.

In the week leading up to my 2nd op I was doing well. Neck hurt a bit as they had to cut some muscle at the top of the neck (apparently the muscle responsible for holding my head up!) and I had a seriously impressive looking scar with very neat but slightly Frankenstein looking stiches. The following week flew by and the nearer it got my old symptoms came back with vengeance so I was keen to get back under.

When the 16th of August arrived I was definitely ready to go in again. My only fear this time was the knowledge I would once again need a catheter! You would think this would be the least of my worries but it was actually my only concern. When waking up from the 1st op I immediately insisted it be removed (in my drugged up daze)... big mistake! No sleep for me with the resulting inability to pee. Anyway, doc assured me with a bit of local anesthetic I’d be all good.

2nd op down and just a short 6 hour job this time… doc assured me it’s all out and benign. Result.

Second stint in ICU wasn’t much fun as I knew what was coming i.e. injections, stints and generally being prodded etc. Really not that bad at all though to be honest. Good news was things were looking good and family and friends could put their mind at rest, after all they were the ones that had to worry.

So recovery was impressively rapid. I poured myself a drink within a couple of hours of coming round and up and in the shower the following morning. Got bored in the hospital quite quickly after that though and had a few weeks of impatience at home before I started getting back to normal. By the way if you’re wondering the catheter was a god send! Only negative part being that the local anesthetic acted like deep heat giving me 3rd degree burns in the pants department (much to the amusement to the Reading boys!)! Haha...

So a year on and things are all good. Get a bit of ringing in the ears and slight dizziness now and again but really minor. Routine MRI in a few weeks so fingers crossed on that.

I need to say a HUGE thanks first of all to family and friends that supported me and came to visit in hospital. Bit of a big deal I guess so I’m sure it took a lot out of you. In particular my parents for nursing me back to health at home.

Second HUGE thanks to all the staff at the Neurology department, John Radcliffe that looked after me. Special thanks have to go to Mr Richard Stacey – absolute legend that provided great support and put my parents mind at rest! I had a few issues with private healthcare and he took away that concern completely going above and beyond to sort me out!

So 100km walk is just a (VERY) small gesture to try and raise as much cash as possible for a well-deserved charity! I hope all of you will put your hand in your pockets if only to see me suffer...!!!

PART 2 – The Aftermath!

Well that was a hell of a weekend! However, I’m pleased to report I survived it and completed the 100km walk in just over 21 hours!!

I’m not going to lie though, most of it was pretty horrific! Who would’ve thought putting one foot in front of the other could be quite so painful…??

Set off at 9.45am and it was pouring down – typical after an amazing British summer. Well prepared though but carrying a heavier backpack than planned. Rain subsided a bit but wets on and off throughout the day. Slight concern early on was a few aches and pains plus the extra 3.9km to the first major pit stop… it was meant to be 25km but came in at 28.9km (a touch worrying that an extra 3.9km could cause an issue given that I had another 70.1km to go there after!).

Plenty of people hobbling along by this point including my girlfriend Natalie who was walking with me. She picked up a knee injury shortly before and was doing seriously well to get this far. She made it all the way to the 50km finishing point so that was a right result! I reached the halfway point at 9pm and after 30mins rest felt ok.

However, as I go storming off on my own into the dark, I hadn’t bargained for the wall of doom I was about to hit! A change of footware felt great at first but was clearly not a good plan. At 54km I’m in pain, thighs are burning and feet feel like I’m walking on sand paper. That continues for 2.5 hours until I reach the 63km pit stop and at this point I’m ready to give up. What stopped me was the fact everyone seemed to have hit the same wall (blister tent was like a war zone!) and once I’d repaired the feet and changed shoes back, I had to push on. A couple of stretches confirmed my legs were still just as painful but so be it.

30 mins in and thighs were sweet again! Sand paper feet continued but compared to how I was feeling that’s not a problem. The surprising bit now was just how dark, cold, foggy and isolated the walk became. Most of the Thames path out of London is in the middle of nowhere– very few buildings just fields, cows, rats, overgrown hedges, turnstiles, gates and bridges. Signage was a problem too, although pretty good by day the night glow sticks were quite far apart and tricky to follow. Getting injured in the middle of nowhere would not be fun.

Reached the three quarter mark (actually 77km) in Cookham at 2.30am. Definitely knackered now but feeling grateful to my Dad and Natalie for dragging themselves out of bed to meet me! Taking the shoes and socks off was a relief but I can now see some pretty beastly looking toes, blisters and bruising. Trying to ease the pain by patching them up as much as possible – I’m on my way again.

I know that if I storm it I can be finished by 7.30am. However, the thought of another nearly 5 hours walking is not a nice one. From there on in it was basically pretty horrible and proper cold/damp due to the fog. I went for it as quickly as I could – my legs were great so I just tried to ignore the pain from my feet. I passed plenty of people in a much worse condition so felt I was making good progress. Pretty spooky along the river in the early hours though and I wouldn’t recommend it on your own. Walking through a field of (massive) cows with a small torch in the pitch black and only a slim pathway between their heads was interesting!

More foot repairs at 88km and now 12km to go. Every km takes FOR EVER by this point. 90km point appears which you’d think would be a relief but it’s not really as it means I’ve still got a couple of hours to walk! Feet are in agony. To help the situation the route deviates from the river and there’s now plenty of hills!

95km and now we’re getting somewhere. Pace is still quick and I’m going to be in before 7.30am.

Although I know Henley I have no idea where we are until I appear out of the woods in a field near Leander Club. That means I now know the route into Remenham Farm – not good as it’s a pretty long down the towpath! To add insult to injury the 98km is directly level with the finish line separated only by a fence… you have to walk 1km past and 1km back!!! By this point I’m charging to the finish as I want it done. Most others around me are hobbling and one guys got his shoes off trudging through the grass!

AT LAST I cross the line THANK GOD. Very happy to be done and I just want to get home to bed.

The rest of Sunday continues as a day of rest. Feet blistered pretty bad and can’t walk. The body has amazing powers of recovery though and I’m happy to report I was ok to drive to work this morning and I’m sat at my desk as we speak!

BIG THANKS to everyone that sponsored me – I’m glad it’s done because it means I never have to do it again!

Scott ‘blisters’ Brighty.


Landmark Information Group unveils enhanced map analysis software

In response to increasing market demand for Phase 1 desk studies to be conducted faster than ever before while still delivering tangible efficiency gains, Landmark Information Group has enhanced its Envirocheck Analysis online mapping software. Designed to deliver significant time savings and improved accuracy benefits over manual historic map analysis for Phase 1 environmental site assessments, Envirocheck Analysis provides a quick and easy way to overlay current and historical maps and aerial photography.

As James Carlisle, Technical Director at RPS Health, Safety & Environment, which is a regular user of Envirocheck Analysis, explains: “Envirocheck Analysis is a key part of our assessment process for environmental reporting on UK sites and enables our team to produce fast, accurate and comprehensive reports to meet our clients' typically urgent timescales. Gone are the days when our consultants were surrounded by piles of paper and scale rulers, or making frequent trips to local libraries.”

As one of the leading providers of historical mapping, Landmark Information Group launched the first Envirocheck product in 1996, and since then has established a large customer base of environmental consultants in the UK, who see Envirocheck as an essential part of their Phase 1 reporting. According to a survey of Envirocheck Analysis users, well over a third of respondents (37.5%) use the software  at least once a month, with 75% citing time savings and greater accuracy as among the key benefits of using Envirocheck Analysis over manual historical map analysis.   

Historically preparing a Phase 1 desk study was time consuming, inefficient and reliant on consultants visiting local libraries and manually comparing numerous differently scaled maps. Landmark Information Group’s Envirocheck product was the first service to collate the information in a single place, with the online analysis software delivering dynamic map overlaying, drawing and measuring tools bringing further efficiencies and helping to streamline the map analysis process. The vast majority (94%) of users now spend less than three hours carrying out map analysis; resulting in average time savings of 25% when compared with manual analysis.  

David Mole, Business Development Director at Landmark Information Group, says: “The latest enhancements to our Envirocheck Analysis software have come as a direct result of our extensive research and consultation with the industry. As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, it’s important that we innovate and build added-value services that make a difference to our client’s bottom line. The days of sourcing hard-copy maps from libraries are long behind us, and the speed and flexibility of the Envirocheck Analysis platform means that Environmental Consultants can be even more rigorous in their approach to land appraisal.”

“Our ultimate goal is to respond to the needs of Environmental Consultants,” David adds. “With no need for a traditional software licence or subscription, this new technology will enable consultants to save time & money and lead to improved accuracy in reporting, which will in turn deliver swifter appraisal of sites through to planning consent.”

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

'Spookmap’ launches on Promap Labs for Halloween

Things have become a little spooky over at Landmark Information Group’s Promap Labs portal as Halloween approaches!  Ghosts have taken over the Promap View tool and created a ‘Spookmap’ of a particularly eerie town. The map shows the ‘risk of bewitchment’, presence of ‘ectoplasm’ and ghost sightings!

A competition has been launched to create a name for this spooky city. All submitted ideas will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a Lego Haunted House set, worth £149.99.  To enter visit – entries close by 11:59pm on Friday 1 November.

Carole Ankers, Product Development Director, Landmark Information Group said, “The ‘Spookmap’ competition is a bit of fun for Halloween and we look forward to receiving many entries.  Behind this however lies an important reminder that for any land or property development, it is important to undertake research into the history of the plot in question.  Historic maps can provide a wealth of information on past activities that may impact a development so it’s better to analyse this upfront, rather than be haunted by any findings as a project progresses! ”

Also featuring on the Promap Labs portal is access to the new Promap service, which enables users to export Ordnance Survey (MasterMap) detailed maps for use in CAD or GIS software using multiple browsers*, Mac or mobile devices.   More details can be found here:

With over 25,000 users, Landmark’s Promap service is used by surveyors, architects, property and land developers, builders, engineers and industry professionals that require instant access to Ordnance Survey maps and related digital mapping data.   It also provides access to 3D models, height data, aerial photography and geo-data, including environmental, planning and geological reports to identify potential site issues.

For more information: visit:, read the Landmark blog, follow the team on Twitter, subscribe to the YouTube Channel or connect with via LinkedIn

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Landmark Information Group hires eight young apprentices

Landmark Information Group has appointed eight apprentices to join its 430-strong workforce. Following an extensive interview and selection process, the apprentices will all be undertaking a 12-month Landmark apprenticeship programme designed to equip them with the skills necessary to progress in the industry.

Five of the appointments were made in partnership with the apprenticeships provider QA Apprenticeships, and are designed to combine employment with government funded training. Two were made through Exeter College and one was made through the provider BPP.

Apprenticeships form a vital part of the Government's plans for economic growth and education reform to provide greater opportunities to young people. For each apprentice, the scheme therefore provides a structured framework to learn skills that will launch them into the world of work. 

Jay Cardona-Martin and Farouq Sulaiman are undertaking a QA Apprenticeship in Professional Sales, Sarosh Khalid is undertaking a QA Apprenticeship in Business while Jack Shepherd and Daniel Butler are taking a QA Apprenticeship in IT Systems & Networking. Emily Stephens will be working in the Accounting team and Elliot Crawford and Todd Allen will be also working in IT. All of the apprentices will receive on the job training as well as dedicated training courses provided by QA Apprenticeships, BPP and Exeter College. There will be regular assessments and feedback sessions, allowing the apprentices to develop within the industry. The eight apprentices will be paid a full time salary and will be given the same extensive opportunities as any other member of the Landmark Information Group team.
Jack, Daniel, Elliot and Todd will receive a Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles. Emily will receive her AAT level 2 qualification. Jay and Farouq will receive a Diploma in Sales and Sarosh will receive a Diploma in Business Administration.

Greg Bryce, Commercial Director at Landmark Information Group, said: “The interest we had in these positions, coupled with the high calibre of the candidates, demonstrates the extent to which apprentice schemes are an increasingly important way for young people to get their careers off to a flying start. We’re delighted to have Jack, Daniel, Jay, Farouq, Emily, Elliot, Todd and Sarosh on board and part of the team. All eight were highly impressive throughout the selection process and above all demonstrated a hardworking and proactive attitude. We look forward to helping them grow their careers at Landmark.”

Dee Fox, Recruitment & Employment Manager at QA Apprenticeships, added: “We are very pleased to welcome Landmark Information Group and their QA Apprentices onto our award-winning programme. Apprenticeships have a key role in the Government’s renewed focus on employability and employer needs in mainstream education. It is great to see an employer like Landmark making such a positive move for their future by taking control of their staff development and training.”


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Conveyancing and Fraud

"Having worked with the mortgage industry for many years developing system-based anti-fraud controls, in particular mitigating valuation risks, the latest area of our research and development programme extends naturally to the area of conveyancing-based risk. 
With an appetite for lenders to apply greater rigour to the entire application verification process, it is important to ensure that appropriate checks are being undertaken at every key stage of the process – from application, through to valuation and conveyancing, prior to completion. Additionally we must ensure that systems are linked to automate as much of this joined-up analysis as possible.
The current workflow for a mortgage application means that by the time a solicitor is instructed, lenders will have already reviewed the loan application and granted the loan in principle. There are however a number of due diligence safe guards undertaken at the point of conveyancing to further limit exposure to risk or potential frauds and our vision is to deliver a seamless system that automatically analyses risk at each stage of the transaction.
Anti-Money Laundering
As well as reviewing a number of warning signs that may suggest a suspicious transaction – such as whether the legal professional has met the client face to face, if the deposit is being paid by a third party, or left over monies from the transaction are being paid to an external party – applying the requirements from the CML Handbook, in addition to undertaking Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks should help towards identifying fraudulent cases.
Whilst legislative AML guidance exists, there is no benchmark to ensure one AML service is comparable to the next and no specific governance in place to ensure that all parties in a transaction comply with the regulations. Plus, there is no easy way to check if an AML audit has been carried out by each professional in the transactional chain. As such, this leaves gaps in the process and makes it potentially possible for fraudsters to take advantage of the system.
For example, a fraudster may attempt to beat an electronic AML check if they are providing the correct information regarding another person’s identity and have false documentation that incorporates their own photo. It would then be entirely down to the lending organisation to identify other information disclosed in the application that appears to be out of place and therefore raise an alarm to the appropriate parties.
Identity Fraud
Unfortunately, the fraudulent use of identity data is on the increase. The UK’s fraud prevention service, CIFAS, released its ‘FraudScape Bulletin’ in August, which backed-up this very point.
The half-yearly insight into the latest fraud-related trends identified that of the 113,980 cases recorded for the first half of 2013, two out of every three frauds (66%) were as a result of identity theft.
This compares to application fraud (at 18%) and misuse of facility (at 15%). In fact, in the previous year, CIFAS confirmed that over 150,000 cases had an identifiable victim illustrating the true scale of this problem.
When it comes to cases of identity fraud that lenders and conveyancers need to be aware of, typical mortgage cases include examples such as unencumbered fraud. This involves someone attempting to access funds using a property that has no mortgage linked to it. So, this could be an empty property, is part of a deceased person’s estate or perhaps has an absent landlord. The perpetrator, using false identification, seeks to access a low-LTV product and hopes to keep under the radar by applying for a low-risk mortgage, using identification that matches those on the deeds of the property in question.
While the Law Society provides practice notes that offer guidance on how conveyancers can protect themselves against such risks, we are also working with nominated Compliance Officers for Legal Practice (COLPs) within conveyancing firms to assess ways in which the due diligence and AML checks can be automated and integrated earlier in to the risk management analysis process.
By eliminating the loopholes that fraudsters are exploiting we believe that a joined-up approach that electronically evidences the outcome from the varying AML suppliers is an important step forward. Removing paper-based searches and automating the entire process will provide greater assurances earlier in the process.
Alerting Tools
In addition, we are working with a number conveyancing panel managers and third party risk management firms to create new alerting tools that automatically analyse applications at each stage of the process – from applicant, valuation, to legal completion – to provide integrated risk management that systematically checks for discrepancies at every step of a mortgage transaction and links the professionals involved to further guard against 3
rd party involvement.
Based on the latest figures from CIFAS, it would seem that fraudsters appear to have the brazen ingenuity – and downright fearlessness – to continue to deceive lenders by hiding behind stolen identities, and therefore we must continue innovating with new alerting tools and technology innovation that prevents as many attempts to defraud as possible.
As technology continues to evolve, we believe that the tide will start to turn as fraudsters have ever fewer loopholes to exploit due to transactions being made more transparent and key data intelligence being shared from one professional to the next involved in the property transaction."

Richard Groom, Product Development Director, Landmark Information Group

As published in the September edition of Mortgage Finance Gazette magazine

Friday, 18 October 2013

Landmark Information Group Signs Deal to Provide Site-Specific Environmental Risk Reports for Sites in Australia

We are pleased to announce a partnership agreement with Melbourne-based Spatial Vision to provide their specialist Environmental Risk Assessment report, CheckSite, to the UK market.

CheckSite, which will be available through Landmark’s Envirocheck International Data Collection service, delivers site-specific data to consultants, developers and property purchasers, enabling them to carry out environment risk assessments for sites in Australia. Access to this service will save clients valuable time and money and will enable the production of professional reports detailing any potential risks.

David Mole, Business Development Director, Landmark Information Group said: “We are very excited to announce this new partnership with Spatial Vision. Until now, it has been an extremely time consuming and often expensive process for UK-based consultants to source site-specific environmental and historical information for sites in Australia, meaning that often sites and properties may have been purchased without having thoroughly investigated potential environmental risks. CheckSite provides a fast and cost effective solution and we are expecting strong interest.”

The ability to order Landmark’s Envirocheck for sites in Great Britain will become available to Spatial Vision’s customers in the very near future.

Glenn Cockerton, Managing Director of Spatial Vision, commented: “Spatial Vision welcomes the agreement between Landmark and Spatial Vision. It represents an association which will benefit CheckSite in Australia enormously as we continue to develop and expand the service throughout the country.”

Mark Milner, CEO of Landmark Information Group, commented: “A key focus for the business is on expanding our reach into new markets. An effective way of doing this is by partnering with companies such as Spatial Vision, which have an established footprint in their local market.”

CheckSite draws together over 30 authoritative data layers from 12 organisations and delivers the information ready to use map-based reports. CheckSite comprises a suite of four reports; a site report, an environmental report, a historical report and a geology and groundwater report.

For more information, or to order a CheckSite report, visit or telephone: 0844 844 9952.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Landmark gets workforce moving with participation in Global Corporate Challenge

Employee participation in largest corporate health initiative of its kind reaffirms workplace engagement

Nearly 100 employees from Landmark Information Group, the UK’s leading provider of land and property search information have completed the 16-week Global Corporate Challenge (GCC). This is the largest corporate health initiative of its kind, and for Landmark forms a cornerstone of its commitment to supporting employee welfare and improving the workplace health and wellbeing of its staff.

The Global Corporate Challenge advocates the benefits of adopting a more active lifestyle, and is designed to appeal and be accessible to every employee, regardless of age, gender, fitness level, state of health, profession or geographic location. Intended to boost levels of workplace connectedness and encourage teamwork, the resulting impact on employee engagement, job satisfaction and productivity can have an ongoing positive impact on the business.  

At Landmark the participants were grouped into 14 teams, with each employee given two GCC Pulses - a 3D accelerometer that uses the same motion sensing technology found in smartphones to accurately track daily activity. Every employee was encouraged to record their daily activity levels via the GCC website or mobile apps, and the more active a team, the more instant rewards they receive; including performance statistics, personalised motivational results videos, trophies and certificates.

Over the 16-week period, Landmark employees collectively covered a total distance of 76,453 km (almost 120 million combined steps), and expended a total of 4,816,558 calories - the equivalent of burning off 10,034 large burgers, 29,688 glasses of red wine and 19,205 slices of cake.

However the results have been even more far reaching, with over three quarters of employees (76%) reporting that their increased activity levels had become a habit and 73% saying that they had a better understanding around how to lead a healthier lifestyle. There has also been a massive 80% increase in the number of employees now undertaking 30-minutes of planned physical exercise four or more times a week following the conclusion of the challenge. 

Julia Lovell, HR Director at Landmark Information Group, commented: “We are fully committed to investing in the health and wellbeing of our workforce, and it’s been great to see the extent to which GCC’s scientific approach helps increase employee performance, productivity and positive engagement.  70% of Landmark’s participants now meet or exceed the 10,000 step recommended daily activity level, vs 11% pre-GCC; 91% said the GCC has had a positive impact on their relationship with exercise, and 79% of employees reported that the GCC had helped them take more personal accountability for their own health.”

Julia continues: “Whilst the initial challenge is over, all team members now have 12-month access to the GCC website and additional initiatives such as GCC nutrition assessments and advice, individual challenges, walking route mapping, 'meeting on the move' planner and energy management. Furthermore, being involved in GCC has had the added benefit of supporting the chosen charity UNICEF.”