We are delighted to announce the launch of a new data tool to support early stage decision-making on brownfield sites.
The new tool, Groundscreen, highlights ground contamination, past land use, and mining risks hotspots across a development site — then provides a guide to the likely cost for dealing with the contamination and geotechnical issues.
Groundscreen aims to provide an instant read-out of what a site’s issues are and how much they will cost to address. By calculating the likely costs of cleaning up these specific hotspots, it helps consultants working for developers to form an opinion on the viability of a site. It is designed to be downloaded into the geographic information systems (GIS) and land mapping systems of land agents, surveyors, and environmental consultancies.
David Kempster, Groundsure’s marketing director, said: “This unique tool can be downloaded easily into the GIS and land mapping systems of surveyors, land agents, and environmental consultancies. It provides a simple view of any ground contamination hotspots, past land use, and mining risks across a site. This allows consultants working for developers to easily estimate the costs to clean up each of these hotspots across a site. These costs provide a basis for understanding the potential viability of the site in terms of the impact of the cost of clean up versus the return for the number of planned units on the site.”
To develop Groundscreen, Groundsure built on the British Geological Survey’s award winning Brownfield Risk Calculator, utilising 57 datasets from sources including the Coal Authority, Ordnance Survey, and the Environmental Agency, and Natural Resources Wales — as well as Groundsure’s own data.
David Kempster concluded: “There are some 620,000 hectares of potentially contaminated land available in England. While not all of this is going to be suitable for development, there’s clearly a significant opportunity to prioritise these sites, such as via Local Authority SHLAAs (strategic Housing land Availability Assessments), to meet the house building challenge.
Groundscreen can assist in bringing forward schemes on potentially problematic sites, by helping developers understand what issues these sites could throw up. It enables land buyers, agents and consultancies to know what they are dealing with as well as accelerate the speed to assess as part of the bid process. We hope it will support a cost-effective bidding and tendering process — and help developers avoid a few expensive surprises.”
A demo video of the Groundscreen tool can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3VKDLLNICc