Plan Ahead to Avoid Mistakes and Expensive Surprises

Technics - Keane Duncan

A recent case near Grimsby has seen one developer demolish a two-storey house worth at least £250,000 after it was built on a major water main – an expensive mistake that could have easily been avoided with some forward planning and surveys.

Technics - Keane Duncan

Image: Keane Duncan

Unaware of the water main, it’s possible that other utilities could have been under the site, potentially putting contractors and site staff at risk.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Avoiding Danger from Underground Services guide makes it clear that the Technics - Avoiding danger from underground servicesutility services must be accurately located during the planning and design phase on any project. Before construction takes place, any services must be located on site and those involved must be competent in the proper use of survey tools and detecting devices.  This minimises risk to the site staff and contractors.

How can a survey help?

Any of these services would have reduced the costs and risks involved in this misguided project.

  • A Level D PAS128 survey, Desktop Utility Locating Services, to highlight the utilities affecting the site
  • A Level B PAS128 Survey, Underground Utility Survey, would have accurately located the survey on the site
  • Permit to Dig controls and minimises the risks to workforce and utilities on site. If using this system, the client would have received a full suite of survey data and utility service plans, accurately locating them on site.  This would also involve Technics contacting all affected utility companies to obtain approval for the works and would mark any exclusion zones as appropriate.

Hopefully, this tale has drawn wider attention to the importance of site investigation and proper planning during the initial phases of a construction project.

If you are unsure about your obligations to site investigation and due diligence under HSG47, PAS 128 or PAS 256, please contact Andy Palmer on 01483 230080 or email and we can advise you on the requirements and what we can do to minimise your risks.

If you are interested in a desktop survey, please contact Stephen Sawyer on 01483 230080 or email