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Topographical Land Surveys

What is a topographic land survey?

Topographic land surveys involve the production of maps and plans which are true to scale. The maps are created to display and accurately represent details of both the natural and built environments within the area in question. Land Surveys are undertaken by our experienced and dedicated land surveyors who utilise an array of equipment including GPS/GNSS, Robotic Total Stations, Laser Scanners and Precise Digital Levels. Castle Surveys Ltd can measure any feature of the built or natural environment swiftly and precisely and to the highest standard attainable.

Castle surveys LTD carry out and produce maps in-house to the scale and format requested by our clients. Outputs that can be supplied include 2D and 3D Plan Drawings, Site Sections, volumes, Autodesk Civil 3D surfaces, MX GENIO and LandXML outputs, 3D Modelling and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

What information should a topographical land survey display?

Our standard topographic land surveys will display the position of ground level surface features such as building foot prints, walls, fences, manhole covers, invert levels to name a few. Supportive height data such as ridge and eave heights, overhead lines and boundary height information will be picked up to aid planner & architects to design and create 3D models for feasibility studies and visuals for their clients. All our surveys also include contours to easily identify the lay of the land.

What file formats can they be presented in?

All of our surveys are carried out to TSA (The Survey Association) & RICS specification of land surveys 3rd edition and are always surveyed in 3D meaning and X,Y & Z co-ordinate have been captured. This means all of our surveys can be exported into multiple file formats to be imported into different types of software such as AutoCAD, SketchUp & Revit for 3D modelling.
Below shows a list of file formats we can provide:

DWG – DXF – CSV – PDF – MOSS GENIO – XYZ

Contouring

The ability to understand the shape and topography of the land is a useful skill to know. Our surveys display contour lines and regular intervals as standard putting our surveys at the forefront of the industry. If you don’t understand contour lines and would like to know more about contour lines, then Ordnance Survey Beginner Guide is a great read.

Green field site surveys

Greenfield sites are undeveloped pastures of land in a city or rural area, either used for agriculture, landscape design, or left to evolve naturally and potentially being considered for urban development. This is a highly contentious issue, particularly in the UK, where the development of land is split between Greenfield and brownfield sites. It becomes contentious and political, due to a limited amount of physical space available, competing with an expanding population that needs housing. Castle Surveys can undertake topographic land surveys, underground utility surveys and tree and ecology reports on such sites as this is a key component to the design and feasibility study during planning applications.

Brown field site surveys

In the UK a brownfield site is defined as “previously developed land” that has the potential for being redeveloped. It is often (but not always) land that has been used for industrial and commercial purposes and is now derelict and possibly contaminated. The lack of available green spaces for development purposes has meant that brownfield sites have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in places where demand for residential and commercial property is high. Castle Surveys can undertake topographic land surveys, underground utility surveys and tree and ecology reports on such sites as this is a key component to the design and feasibility study during planning applications.

GPS/GNSS Surveys

GNSS Surveys were previously called GPS Surveys. GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System. GNSS Surveys use the existing satellite systems of GPS (American system), GLONASS (Russian system) which give optimum satellite coverage for a full 24 hours of survey allowing us to undertake surveys all year round in all weather conditions.

Using the latest Leica GNSS survey equipment we are able to relate all of our surveys to the Ordnance Survey Network (OSGB 15 Datum). If you already have a survey and it’s to an arbitrary grid, we do offer the service to attend site and establish a GPS fix.

When used by our skilled surveyors, GNSS provides surveying and mapping data to the highest level of accuracy. This equipment allows data collection at a much faster rate than conventional surveying techniques, reducing the amount of equipment and labour required. A single surveyor can now accomplish in one day what once took a team of surveyor’s weeks to do.

Unlike traditional techniques, GNSS surveying technology is not bound by constraints such as line of site visibility between the prism and total station making it particularly useful when surveying coasts, waterways and rivers banks, brown & greenfield sites.

Highway Surveys

Highway surveys are used to provide highly accurate and detailed plans of existing road networks. Features such as the location of kerbs, services, street furniture, utilities, drainage, neighbouring buildings, overhead cables, camber of the road, street furniture and many more to assist in the use of infrastructure projects & transport planning.

Utilising the latest survey equipment, Leica reflectorless robotic total stations, GNSS survey equipment, 3D laser scanners and DTM survey software, we are able to carry out the survey of the highway with minimal disruption, whilst still delivering quality data that can be easily imported into most design software.

Highway surveys are essential for the use of transport planners, architects and engineers to understand and design new access entrances and visibility splays for new projects and developments. Visibility Splays are an essential feature of an access or junction, as it allows traffic at the new junction to see cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians on the main road. An unobstructed visibility splay or sight line allows a motorist to see and be seen and with appropriate visibility splays or sight lines road users have time to see and react to any potential incident.

Hydrographic Surveys

Castle Surveys specialises in inshore and near-shore hydrographic surveys. Our experienced team ensure that surveys are designed for a maximum efficiency whilst not compromising on data quality or personnel safety.

Each hydrographic survey requires careful consideration of the critical success factors and robust project planning. Team briefings are an essential part of this process. Each survey benefits from a bespoke design ensuring that the most appropriate survey resources are deployed.

All site surveys are tailored to our clients requirements including ISIS, MIKE & HEC-RAS deliverables. We work to EA & EACSD specifications.

Hydrographic survey applications

  • River and canal bed and bank monitoring
  • Coastal surveys
  • Reservoir
  • Harbours and ports
  • Piers and breakwaters
  • Land reclamation feasibility and monitoring
  • Flood control and protection planning
  • Erosion modelling
  • Bridge scour inspection

Watercourse Surveys & River Sections

Castle Surveys undertake a number of watercourse surveys & river section drawings each year for the purposes of flood risk assessment reports & modelling for developments throughout the East Midlands and the UK.

Flood Risk Assessments (FRA’s) are required for most developments within one of the flood zones.

This includes developments:

  • In a Flood Zone 2 or 3 including minor development and change of use.
  • In a Flood Zone 1 if more than 1 hectare (ha)
  • Less than 1 ha in flood zone 1, including a change of use in development type to a more vulnerable class (for example from commercial to residential), where they could be affected by sources of flooding other than rivers and the sea (for example surface water drains, reservoirs)
  • In an area within flood zone 1 which has critical drainage problems, as notified by the Environment Agency.

Find out what flood zone your development is in.

As well as undertaking the topographic land survey and river sections in house. This data can also include any culvert detail, similar to an elevation. We work with a number of dedicated flood risk consultants to ensure you have one point of contact throughout the Flood Risk Assessment process to obtain the desired outcome.

As-Built Surveys

Castle Surveys carry out As-Built surveys for many of the UK’s popular house builders. They are needed to record variations from the original architectural master and engineering plans to what has actually been built. As Built Surveys are required by many agencies such as the local authorities, in order for them to adopt the proven location of buildings, road networks and services for the maintenance and future development of site.

As-built surveys can also aid engineers to establish what has actually been built and to make sure it was built within applicable tolerances. The accuracy of the built locations are important. Castle Surveys have equipment and the experience necessary to locate and gather the information for the client. Our crews are equipped with the latest surveying technology to efficiently and accurately meet our client’s needs.

Section 104 – Sewer adoption surveys

Castle Surveys undertake section 104 sewer adoption surveys in conjunction with the As Built Surveys. This is to provide information of the sewers to be adopted by the local water authority, supported by Manhole & Sewer Record Cards and Deed of Grant / Easements plans where applicable.

Section 38 – Highway adoption surveys

Castle Surveys also carry out section 38 highway adoption surveys in conjunction with the As Built Surveys These surveys are coloured to the local authority standard, supported by Land Transfer Plans, Highway Inventories and Asset Specification Inventories where applicable.

Boundary Surveys

The purpose of a boundary is to provide a safe, simple and economic system of land transfer. So if you’re a business or homeowner, knowing where to draw the line can be extremely important. At Castle Surveys Ltd we offer expertise and experience in providing surveying services in relation to boundary disputes in both domestic and commercial environments. With expertise in mapping and measurement, a land surveyor’s work in a dispute involves accurate measurements of the area in question.

Working under RICS regulation and maintaining the RICS Code of Ethics, our calm and independent approach can provide both sides in a dispute with confidence in the reliability of the information that we provide, in circumstances in which there may be a breakdown in trust and communication between disputing parties.

Land Registry Compliant Surveys & Plans

If you want to convert your house into flats, sell a portion of your back garden for development, renew a seven year plus lease, or register your property with Land Registry, you will require a Land Registry Compliant Plan.

Castle Surveys produce accurate Land Registry Compliant plans of your property or land which could play a crucial part when selling or leasing land and property or resolving any future boundary issues or questions. These surveys are produced using Leica theodolites and GNSS equipment to precisely plot the location of boundaries on site.

Following the Land Registry Guidance, our plans define the following:

  • Drawn to scale including scale bar.
  • Display the correct orientation and North point.
  • Use a suitable scale (1:1250, 1:500 or 1:200
  • Be reference to an Ordnance Survey Plan indicating local landmarks and road networks.
  • Show a clear red line around the ownership

Drone/SUA Surveys

The use of Small Unmanned Aircraft or Drones has rapidly expanded over the last few years. Castle Surveys Ltd has invested heavily in this technology advancement as it helps eliminate the need for our surveyors to physically access those hard-to-reach and dangerous areas such as quarry’s, stock yards, roof surveys and inspection surveys.

As well as using this technology for surveys, we are able to produce HD quality images and videos of client’s projects pre, during and post construction. This data allows you, as the client, to show case your work on your website and social media pages.

Landscape Architecture & Garden Designer Surveys

Castle Surveys are able to produce detailed topographic land surveys tailored to the landscape architect & garden design sector. Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, public spaces and structures to help achieve environmental, social behavioural or aesthetic outcomes.

Landscape architecture is a multi-disciplinary practice, incorporating aspects of botany, horticulture, the fine arts, architecture, industrial design, soil sciences, environmental psychology, geography, ecology, and civil engineering.

Even though our standard surveys provide a high level of detail, this type of survey would take into account extra features such as existing planting, shrubbery, window & door positions & heights along with internal floor levels and threshold levels to support the design stage.

This type of survey will also benefit:

  • Landscape master planning.
  • Planting layouts.
  • Habitat restoration & expansion strategies.
  • Landscape and visual impact assessments.
  • Park & recreational design.

Golf Course Surveys

Castle Surveys offer surveying solutions for surveying & recording golf course features throughout the UK. We place your course on the ground quickly and accurately, identifying all course features, irrigation components, drainage features, bunker locations, tee locations and structures.

The services are of particular interest to Golf Course Designers, Golf Course Architects, Contractors, Club managers and owners.

See your designs using 3D Virtual Reality using our 3d modelling and visualisation software. We offer a range of virtual reality modelling services which are designed to help present the designs, let you see and evaluate changes and help you with marketing and promotion. The dynamic 3D representation allowing walk and flythrough integrated in the terrain model of the area the course is located is especially useful for planning application purposes.