Avista is the most comprehensive environmental search report available. Click here to find out more information about Avista.
Groundsure is pleased to reveal major enhancements to the award-winning Avista report. The most comprehensive environmental search report available now includes more in-depth transportation data, providing even more invaluable information at no extra cost. Avista continues to be at the forefront of Groundsure’s moving searches forward initiative.
What data is being added?
- Crossrail 2: Avista is the first environmental search report to now include Crossrail 2 data. Crossrail 2 is a new proposed railway linking Surrey and Hertfordshire via an underground tunnel through London. Crossrail 2 marks the next step in the ambitions to improve rail infrastructure and join major counties to the capital. The new railway line would stop at key locations throughout the city including Tottenham Court Road, Euston, St. Pancras, Victoria, Clapham Junction and Wimbledon, improving access to and from London and linking up major rail infrastructure projects such as HS2 and the Elizabeth Line (formerly Crossrail). The Crossrail 2 route, safeguarding areas, worksites and headhouses are all included in Avista.
- HS2 data upgrade: HS2 data has been upgraded to include not just the route and stations but safeguarding areas, compensation schemes and “never seen before” noise and visual impact assessment data
- London Underground and DLR: full route and operational times
- Tyne and Wear Metro: full route information
- Historical railway and tunnel features: further information on active and historical railway and tunnel features digitised by Groundsure from the highest quality historical mapping available.
Why are we making these additions?
We want to continue to produce the best products on the market. Avista is the most comprehensive product available and we want to continue to add more and more data to increase its value without increasing your costs.
These new data sets include information which may impact property purchases as the data can reveal items that may reduce or improve a homeowner’s enjoyment of their property.
It is vital that your clients know about these features. Rail infrastructure can cause ground stability issues through construction and operational vibration and it can be noisy. But on the plus side, it can be very convenient if living near a station or the property is located near to a proposed new station. Additionally, there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that living in close proximity to a train station can increase the value of a property.
Underground infrastructure can impede basement extensions and of course, there is the possibility of future compulsory purchase of land and property demolition for the construction of projects such as Crossrail 2 and Phase 2 of HS2.
Case study examples: How transportation issues might affect a property decision:
You may remember the numerous incidents that have occurred on London Underground lines.
In March 2013 (10.02am) a driver of a First Capital Connect train from Moorgate to Welwyn Garden City reported that water was flowing from the roof of a railway tunnel between Old Street Station near central London and Essex Road Station on Network Rail’s Northern City Line.
At 10.58am a train which was not carrying passengers was used to examine the line. The driver reported that he had stopped short of the water flow in the tunnel and had seen two large drills had broken through the tunnel wall and subsequently fallen onto the track in front of the train. The drills were being used for boring piles from a construction site approximately 13m above the crown of the tunnel on East Road, Hackney. The drills had penetrated the cast iron tunnel lining before landing on the track.
Piling work for a proposed seven-storey residential building commenced on 6th March 2013, 2 days prior to the incident. During the boring of the 5th pile (out of 39), the piling rig’s auger broke through the cast iron lining of the tunnel below. The piling team were unaware that they had penetrated a tube tunnel and attempted to locate the missing section of auger by dropping metal bars down the hole. These bars also landed on the track.
Lessons don’t appear to have been learned: in 2016 (February 22nd) contractors working on an extension to Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush drilled through the roof of the London Underground’s Central Line. Services on this line were halted as debris fell onto the track and a tube train.
Fortunately, the public safety implications of both these events were negligible but could have been much worse.
As a result of the initial incident (2013), The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) issued a reminder to the property industry stating that “Those commissioning searches for sites in inner London (including Docklands) should ensure that all searches consider Network Rail and Transport for London tunnels. Searches in central Newcastle should consider the Tyne and Wear Metro (Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive) and in central Glasgow the Glasgow Subway (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport).”
As it is not Ordnance Survey policy to show railway tunnels considered to be part of an ‘underground system’ on its maps, it’s imperative that there is a search out there that can reveal this information. Groundsure Avista is the one and only combined search to do this.
Report map extracts
London Underground and DLR