Basic Guidance for Site Analysis

Site Analysis – prior to purchasing a building site it is essential to conduct a thorough survey to ascertain whether the site characteristics suit the development concept. The following guidance forms a basic checklist:

  • Refer to Ordnance Survey maps to determine adjacent features, location, roads, facilities, footpaths and rights of way.
  • Conduct a measurement survey to establish site dimensions and levels.
  • Observe surface characteristics, i.e. trees, steep slopes, existing buildings, rock outcrops, wells.
  • Inquire of local authority whether preservation orders affect the site and if it forms part of a conservation area.
  • Investigate subsoil. Use trial holes and borings to determine soil quality and water table level.
  • Consider flood potential, possibilities for drainage of water table, capping of springs, filling of ponds, diversion of streams and rivers.
  • Consult local utilities providers for underground and overhead services, proximity to site and whether they cross the site.
  • Note suspicious factors such as filled ground, cracks in the ground, subsidence due to mining and any cracks in existing buildings.
  • Regard neighbourhood scale and character of buildings with respect to proposed new development.
  • Decide on best location for building (if space permits) with regard to ‘cut and fill’, land slope, exposure to sun and prevailing conditions, practical use and access.


One Comment on “Basic Guidance for Site Analysis”

  1. I appreciate the tip to talk with a local authority when planning on a site analysis in order to see if preservation orders have any effect. How early in the process would you want to speak with local authorities concerning this matter? Working with professionals when it comes figuring out boundaries and a site analysis would be something I would make sure to do if I was to start construction of a building.

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