Understanding survey requirements

16 January 2017 Mike Ford, MS Ford Associates

What's required?

Ground conditions

With any development, it is essential to be fully aware of all the costs of the self-build project at the beginning.  Two of the most common items often not fully investigated are:

  • Exact size and shape of the plot
  • Slope of the site where the new house is to be build
Other constraints such as access positions, drainage and the location and height of adjacent properties are also recorded. Potton require a full measured and level survey (known as a topographical survey) of the site, including a Street Scene with levels to Ordnance Survey Datum.

The survey drawing will provide all the information & details necessary to enable Potton to accurately design & locate the new house within the plot and in keeping with adjacent properties.

The levels enables the slope of the site to be determined and these levels together with the ridge heights of adjacent properties enables a cross section through the site or a street scene to be drawn.

Local Authority Planning Departments now require that a topographical survey drawing, with levels, is submitted with the Planning Application.

If an existing property is being demolished, the Planning Department  also require a floor plan and elevations of the existing property. The survey drawing is also used for Building Regulation Approval & enables the new building to be set out accurately.
The survey is carried out on the site and the information presented on a drawing at 1:200 scale, showing all the existing features of the site, which usually includes the following:
  • Building sizes and positions both on and adjacent to the site, including ridge heights
  • Boundary positions and types eg: fences, walls or pegs to locate new boundaries
  • Roads, driveways, paths, access positions and public highways
  • Manhole and service cover locations for both foul and surface water drainage
  • Overhead cables
  • Trees with spread of canopy
  • A grid of levels across the whole site to Ordnance Survey Datum
While carrying out the survey,  a technical review will be carried out which will highlight any aspects of the site and development that may require particular attention such as access from the public highway, drainage, service diversion, the need for retaining walls, other physical constrain or items to be considered.

Potton has for many years recommended that M S Ford Associates, a firm of independent Chartered Civil Engineers & Land Surveyors, carry out the survey. Mike Ford, BSc, C Eng, FICE, FCIHT, will be asked to contact you to agree costs & to arrange a visit to the site to carry out the survey. The Survey is therefore independent of Potton.

Typical costs are dependent on size of the site and whether the site is to be used to build a single dwelling or multiple dwellings.

  • Topographical Survey including Street Scene and Technical Review : £ 850 to £ 950 plus VAT,
  • Floor Plan & Elevations of any Existing Dwelling to be demolished (If required): £ 650 plus VAT
  • Planning Application requires an Ordnance Survey Plan of the site 1:1250 scale. £ 38 plus VAT 
M S Ford Associates have extensive experience in Highways matters and can advise on new access positions and Local Highway Authority requirements for new access.

M S Ford Associates: 147 Cambridge Road, Great Shelford, Cambridge, CB22 5JN.
Telephone 01223 510309, Mobile 07808 742018, e-mail : mike.ford@msford.co.uk

Contact form

Potton Head Office

Eltisley Road

Great Gransden


SG19 3AR

441767 676400