Developers and planners: Why you should speak to your engineers as soon as possible!

Developers and planners should speak to their engineers as early as possible in the development process.  Well, we would say that wouldn’t we?  But actually there could be considerable commercial benefits to seeking the advice of an appropriate consulting engineer at the very early stages of a development.

By reviewing all available information and using our detailed design knowledge we can provide an engineering overview early in the project cycle and feed vital information into the master planning process. We can identify where deficiencies exist, where value can be added and where there are risks. In this way we ensure we mitigate problems early on in the process whilst bringing more certainty to a schemes deliverability, buildability and viability.

This was evident recently at Cotswold Gate, a Bellway Homes (Northern Home Counties) residential development in Chipping Norton.  We were involved prior to the acquisition of the site for a development of 228 residential units.

Clarkebond carried out a ground investigation which revealed variable ground conditions with the potential to impact the site drainage. Infiltration tests were carried out from which we were able to propose a zoned drainage strategy.

Clarkebond worked with masterplanners, Barton Wilmore, to ensure that the drainage strategy was fully integrated into the masterplan and the landscape strategy. As the site is on the edge of an AONB, it was an essential part of the landscape strategy to ensure that full consideration was given to harmonising the development with the surrounding environment.

Clarkebond also provided a full transport planning service including the promotion of an alternative highway connection to the South onto the Burford Road.  This increased the developable area and reduced the highway demand onto an already constrained local network.  The potential for future bus linkages was provided and additional footway and cycle path linkages from the town through the development to the rugby club and amenity areas of the town were incorporated.

Clarkebond also carried out a Flood Risk Assessment and civil engineering review of the site and subsequently provided detailed design including the S278 application for the highway works on the Burford Road, which was a pre-commencement condition therefore it was important to get it approved early.

The above demonstrates how the earlier we are involved in a scheme, the more value our skills and expertise can add.

If you would like more information on any of the services mentioned above, please call 0117 929 2244 or email