Friday, 8 March 2013

What Lies Beneath? King Richard III – Landmark Information Group Makes New Discovery of Key Site Thanks to Historical Mapping

The civil war for the throne between the House of York and House of Lancaster which raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century culminated in the final Battle of Bosworth, during which Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, defeated his foe, King Richard III, to become the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

Over 500 years later, the discovery of the remains of King Richard III buried beneath a Leicester car park has brought to the fore the question: ‘what lies beneath?’  How sure can environmental and engineering professionals be that, when they excavate a site in preparation for construction work, they know what they are likely to uncover? A car park in Leicester certainly seems a highly unlikely burial site for a former monarch and yet, how much do we know about the previous use of land throughout the UK – and how prepared can environmental professionals be?

Using historical mapping available with Envirocheck, the industry standard desk study information service, Landmark Information Group has carried out historical map analysis on the Leicester car park where King Richard III’s remains were found and on the site of the Battle of Bosworth which, on 22 August 1485, claimed King Richard III’s life – and it turns out that car parks feature in the ‘afterlife’ of both King Richard III and King Henry VII.

David Mole, Business Development Director, Environment – Land & Property, Landmark Information Group, said: “Using historical mapping dating from 1888 overlaid with current maps, we have identified how the use of the Leicester car park has evolved, from open grass land, to the car park that it is today.”

Identified as undeveloped grass land in the 1888 county series map, the first map to indicate the site as a car park was in 1954 Ordnance survey map.  This latter map is also the first to indicate that the site could be of historical interest, showing that the site was the location of a ruin, which was confirmed to a Franciscan friary in the mapping from the 1960s.

David continues: “We have also identified that the site used for Henry Tudor’s encampment, which sits outside the National Heritage-protected site of the actual battlefield, and made the discovery that a section of the site is now a car park. It is extraordinary that not only the burial site for King Richard III has become a car park, but that the site of his enemy’s encampment for the battle in which King Richard III died, has also been turned into a car park.

“Whilst this is an interesting fact, it does demonstrate the serious issue that, without thorough checks and investigation, it is often simply impossible to tell what lies beneath the top soil during excavation works. The recent history may be well known – such as whether a factory or gas works were situated on site and therefore decontamination is required – but what about the more historical use for the land? Discoveries such as sites of historical importance, sensitive land use, and ground water vulnerability can delay construction works for months or years; it can even put a stop to it altogether, resulting in extensive loss of money for all involved.”

David concludes: “It’s not all bad news however. Environmental and engineering professionals needn’t become mapping experts overnight; there are desktop information searches available, ideal for fast and highly accurate environmental site assessments. Obtaining a comprehensive report which includes extensive environmental information – including, for example, historical mapping, areas of special scientific interest and geological maps – that reveal previous uses of specific locations, can potentially save professionals time and money.”

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.

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Mark Milner appointed as CEO of Landmark Information Group

DMG Information (DMGI), the business information division of the Daily Mail & General Trust plc, today announces that Mark Milner, formerly Managing Director of Landmark UK Property, has been appointed to the position of CEO Landmark Information Group. He will be based in Landmark’s UK offices, but assumes responsibility for all of Landmark activities in UK and Europe. Milner replaces Stephen Stout who has been appointed to the new role of CEO DMG Information Asia Pacific.
Milner joined Landmark full time in September 2012 from The Digital Property Group where he was CEO, and has been a member of the Landmark Board since 2009.
Landmark is the UK’s leading provider of land and property search information, including digital mapping, environmental risk reports for property professionals and sophisticated property management tools to surveyors, risk and fraud managers and the broader financial markets. It also has operations in Germany in the form of On-Geo, and interests in Holland.
Commenting on his new role, Milner said, “Landmark is truly a great company and I feel privileged to be taking over the reins of such a successful business from Stephen Stout who has steered the business with such great leadership and judgement. Happily I will be able to draw on Stephen’s experience as he will remain on our Board, and I have every confidence our new Landmark will go from strength to strength; we have many exciting plans for new and existing customers, and a great selection of people in the team to deliver against those ambitions.”
Commenting on the appointment, out-going CEO Stephen Stout commented: “Mark has made a big impact on Landmark since his arrival and I have absolute confidence he and the team will continue to have success expanding Landmark’s UK business and developing further in Europe. Landmark is in great hands.”
Milner will report to Suresh Kavan, CEO of DMGI, who commented, “We are delighted to have Mark at the helm at Landmark. He and his team have already restructured the UK business and launched a series of products aimed at the financial risk and environmental markets. I am very confident he will expand our position in the UK market and continue the work to take Landmark further into Europe and build upon our successes in Germany.”

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Stephen Stout appointed as CEO DMG Information Asia Pacific

DMG Information (DMGI), the business information division of the Daily Mail & General Trust plc, today announces that Stephen Stout, formerly CEO of Landmark Information Group, has been appointed to a newly formed position of CEO DMGI Asia Pacific. He will be located in Singapore and will be tasked with developing DMGI’s presence in Asia and adjacent markets. Stout will be replaced as CEO of the Landmark Information Group by Mark Milner, who was previously CEO of the Digital Property Group.
Stout is no stranger to the Asia and Australasian markets having previously been based in Singapore for eight years and two years in Australia in previous roles.
Commenting on his new role, Stout said, “After 10 years at Landmark, I am extremely excited to be taking on the challenge of spearheading DMGI’s expansion into Asia, a market in which we already have experience and where we can see enormous opportunities. Landmark has made huge progress over the years and it has been an honour to work with the Landmark team, who, I am certain, will continue to have success expanding Landmark’s UK business and developing further in Europe”.
Stout will continue to report to Suresh Kavan, CEO of DMGI, who commented, “I’d like to thank Stephen for his leadership over the last 10 years and wish him the very best of luck in his new venture; we are all very excited about realising the opportunities we have identified in the Asian markets and Stephen is exactly the person to bring those opportunities to DMGI. In his new pan-DMGI role he also has access to a vast array of DMGI services and he will be instrumental in helping our US and European businesses establish secure footings in the Asian and Australasian markets.”
A follow-up announcement will be released shortly with details of Stout’s successor.