The construction of pipelines, powerlines and other developments in the countryside is likely to have a detrimental impact on agricultural land unless mitigating actions are taken. The sensitive handling of existing land drainage and soils are paramount to achieving a successful build.
Land Drainage Consultancy Ltd has considerable experience on a wide range of construction projects at all stages of development from route selection through to implementation and restoration.
LDCL have recently worked with the Lands Department of Yorkshire Water to produce a set of Guidance notes for Construction Activity in Agricultural Land/Countryside.
Selecting the best route or location for a development including any associated access needs to take into account a wide range of issues. LDC Ltd. can assist by carrying out initial soils, drainage and agricultural surveys to assess the differing impact that the build will have. LDC Ltd can carry out a range of services from desk top studies through to detailed surveys and Landowner negotiations. For information on our route selection services, please click here.
Most agricultural land is underlain by a variety of drains of differing depth, type, size and condition which have been installed over a period of 200 years. Some will be redundant but many will still be in good working order. These need to be correctly intercepted and their future outfalls assured. If not then flooding of land is likely which in turn will result in ongoing claims.
Many of the old drainage systems are deep and there are rarely any record plans available. It is very easy, during construction, to 'miss' and destroy a drain with the potential of creating large offsite catchments without a suitable outfall.
LDC Ltd can provide a Pre-working Survey which would involve the collation of all relevant information from land owners and from site inspections. In some instances pre-working investigational works will be required to ascertain exact depths, sizes or locations of significant drains. This survey can then be used by the Main Contractor/Consultant to ensure that all the land drainage is adequately dealt with in the development design.
A survey can be undertaken to provide information on existing soil resources with detailed recommendations on handling, storage and restoration techniques. Advice can be given on appropriate location and access of temporary soil storage areas.
Statutory checks for soil borne diseases and carcass burial pits can also be undertaken as part of the survey.
Full and detailed topographical surveys can be provided by an associate for planning and design purposes.
The condition of the agricultural land (crops, drainage status, hedges etc.) can be recorded and photographed. This can be provided in paper or digital format. Aerial photography/video can also be provided.
The importance of good communications with the land owners and their agents is essential to assure a trouble free construction. LDC Ltd has a wide experience in this liaison role and as well as adhoc advice can provide a project Agricultural Liaison Officer.
There is need to carefully consider the impact that the proposed development will have on the drainage status of the site. There are three key areas which need to be considered:-
This may be required on certain sites either as a temporary or permanent feature. Carefully considered control measures will help control run-off and also reduce potential pollution.
The interception of existing drains will eliminate offsite claims and help keep working conditions dry. The timing and design of these works needs to be carefully considered in relation to the construction activity.
A full design service including the obtaining of any necessary consent can be provided for temporary or permanent access over ditches/watercourse.
Final drainage of an easement or working area following construction may be needed to mitigate against soil structural damage and subsequent reduced cropping.
LDC Ltd has wide experience in gauging the need of the above in different situations and taking into account the long term financial implications. We can offer detailed design for the various stages of drainage and gain approvals from landowners /agents and relevant statutory bodies. Full tender documentation and scheme specifications can be prepared and, if required, the scheme can be put out to tender.
LDC Ltd can undertake the installation of the drainage scheme using a suitable subcontractor. Alternatively a supervisory role of an independent drainage contractor can be provided. It is always advisable to have a technical input during the installation stage because it is often necessary to make minor design changes as the actual size and condition of drains become apparent.
Final record plans of the drains installed can be provided for retention by the land owner/agent and for accounting purposes.
Advice and consultancy can be given on a wide range of agricultural and environmental issues at any stage during and after construction.
LDC Ltd can prepare single or joint expert witness reports on any land drainage/ restoration conflicts that may arise as a consequence of the construction.