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Assessment before site development – the problems a land survey can identify

When it comes to building developments, there are a lot of factors that can affect the progress of a project. Whether it’s unexpected weather, the wrong supply of materials or a shortened deadline, managing a construction site is never easy. That’s why good planning is key, along with carrying out an accurate land (also known as a topographic) survey.

Land surveys can identify problems that are easier to mitigate at the start of the project rather than halfway through. Read on for some of the problems that can be avoided with a topographic survey.


If the project involves renovation or changing the use of the land, it’s likely that a planning permit will be required. To make a strong case for planning permission, a detailed land survey will display what you plan to do on the site and clearly point out any implications on surrounding features which may be a concern for the local government.

There are generally town planning codes to follow as well, such as a specified wall distance from the boundary line. Understanding the boundaries of your site will help project managers understand whether the plans will be possible.

Under or overestimating the size of the site can be a costly mistake. Inaccuracy at the early stages can result in the wrong amount of materials being ordered and a schedule that is hard to follow.

A topographic survey can also survey other constraints such as site levels, heights and positions of surrounding buildings which can help with the overall design of a construction project.

This type of survey can also reveal information about nearby highways and adjacent structures. Integrated with a utilities survey which looks at underground features such as gas pipes and drainage, you can begin to build up a full picture of the land that you’re about to build upon.

Although you can scope out the general suitability of the land by walking around the site, the durability should be further tested. Fully understanding the contours and gradients of the site allows you to plan ahead for land use planning and any soil conservation needs.

You may have planned to build on flat land, but a  can reveal slopes and ridges that you now have to account for. It is beneficial to discover these land features ahead of the project beginning to avoid any hindrances in the future.

As we can see, a topographic survey can help prevent some costly problems that could occur later on in the project. For more information about our professional surveys, don’t hesitate to contact us.