“What difference does a polygon make in an environmental search?” Well, a fair bit actually!

DateJul 17, 2018
AuthorNick Treble

Since Avista launched in June 2017 Groundsure has been introducing polygons to our residential environmental search reports. But what benefits does the use of polygons bring when compared to previous point and buffer methods? Nick Treble, Strategic Account Manager at Groundsure, explains.

Why is using polygons important?

A Land Registry leasehold/freehold polygon surrounds the exact parcels of land associated with a property title. Therefore combining a polygon with comprehensive data in your environmental search, completely removes any uncertainty as to whether the information in the report is relevant to the property.

It increases the accuracy of the environmental assessment, making the results and findings more property specific and enables an environmental consultant to make a more informed professional opinion or assessment of any risk.

What does this mean to a conveyancer?

Ultimately, it reduces and removes peripheral risks. Peripheral risks are those which affect sites close to the property but which do not constitute a direct risk to the property itself. This results in fewer follow-up actions for conveyancer and purchaser/seller alike.

What does it mean to our environmental consultants when writing professional opinions?

As a former consultancy manager and environmental consultant at Groundsure, I have first-hand experience of this work. When a consultant has to manually assess the environmental risk (they use more than 100 datasets to do this) and form an opinion, they are constantly examining the features of concern in relation to the property boundary. To put it simply, a polygon provides 100% certainty of exactly where the property starts and finishes in relation to any risk, making this process far more accurate. In addition, it provides a useful aid for linking remediated plots of land to registered titles.

Introducing polygons, my own experience

Since, introducing polygons to a number of our core residential environmental reports (Groundsure Avista, Homebuyers, Homescreen, Planning & Flood) and adopting an only relevant results methodology (resulting in reports with fewer pages, meaning /less to interpret and smaller file sizes), we’ve seen a noticeable reduction in homebuyer and conveyancer queries alike per report.

As a Strategic Account Manager for Groundsure, one of my primary roles is the delivery of CPD and contextual training sessions – so you could say I have had this conversation a fair few times.

Need more information on polygons?

If you or your colleagues would like to know more information about our products or if you would like to organise a CPD or training session please feel free to contact me.