An interesting one. We are looking at developing the vaults in front of our house. The vaults are located under the public pavement, however they not underground as such - the reason that they are under the pavement is that the street itself is raised (common practice in many areas), however the vaults are at the same ground level as our back garden and the communal garden beyond it. The council came back to us requesting a 'Geo Hydrology Report'. I have never of heard of it before, but learnt since that it involves digging a pit and checking the water table pressure (or something similar), and it is probably quite expensive. The first expert we approached refused to tackle this issue and only said it is normal request when digging-out a basement, but it is odd to request this for vaults' development, considering that we only intend to dig around one foot below normal ground level (to create more headroom inside the vaults), which is essentially no more that we would dig to plant a small tree. What followed is even more bizarre - I thought I'd give a the council a call directly, but was told by be person who answered the phone that this is not possible - in order to talk to the Planning Officer in charge of our case, I will need to know who he or she are. Their name is in our (paper) file, but not on the computer system - the software does not show who is dealing with the case. Our file is not on the shelf because it would be on the desk of the Planning Officer dealing with our case. And they can't look for our file because they do not know who is the Planning Officer in charge of our case, so couldn't know on which desk to look, and they can't go through all the files on every desk, so they can't tell us who the Planning Officer is, because they don't have the file... and so it goes. Kafka may be long dead, but his spirit lives on. I'll try calling again on Monday, with these places you get a different answer each time you call, I might be more lucky next time. But before I actually talk to the Planing Officer (assuming I will be successful in getting through to him/her at some point of time in the future), I would like to get my fact right. Setting aside the Council woes, does anyone know anything about this 'Geo Hydrology Report' - what it involves, how expensive it actually is, and is it reasonable to request this for a project involving digging of only one foot into the ground...? Thank you.