Geo Hydrology Report

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by markjay, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    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.
     
  2. flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    I'm amazed they are asking for a geo hydrology report, you might want to challenge this. A geo hydrology report is normally requested when something you are going to do below ground level could affect the water table, underground water sources ingress into fissures etc In Industry its quite common place in Mining operations but don't think I've ever come across it in public.

    I'll ask SWMBO later she spec's things like this for the local council but from a legal standpoint rather than an engineering one but she may have more idea than me. In Industry even a basic report is incredibly expensive have they told you why they want the report or what they want to see in it? as they are very complex I'm no hydro geologist but really curious as to why they want this type of report are you in a sensitive area nature wise or near any major industrial facility?

    Will post back SWMBO comments but might not be until tomorrow
     
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  3. balge

    balge Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Sure I heard something like this on Radio 4, London councils wanting reports for any underground work that may affect groundwater flow, check your council website they should have guidelines?
    Seems a bit excessive if you're only going to go down a foot, but nobody ever caught a council not being excessive whenever they get a chance....
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
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  4. OP
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    markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Thanks flanaia1.

    All I have at this time is a snippet from email concordance between our architect and the clerk (not the actual Planning Officer whose identity remains a mystery) at the council, following a request made to the architect over the phone:

    From the Architect's email: '...As far as the Geo Hydrology report is concerned, is it possible to be attached as a Planning condition?'

    The Clerk's reply: 'I have checked with the Planning Officer and unfortunately we need this as part of the structural report and won’t be able to validate your application until we receive all the information.'

    We live in Central London near St John's Wood.... not a factory to be seen in miles.
     
  5. OP
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    markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Update:

    I finally managed to speak to the right person.

    He agreed that the Geo Hydrology report will not be needed in our case.

    I am happy to report that there are some sensible people out there. It may not always be the first person that answers the phone, so persevere.

    Kafka can now rest in peace.
     
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