Soil Surveys, Environmental Assessment & Land Management

Land Research - Case Study

Soil resource plan for school redevelopment

The redevelopment of a former further education college into a secondary school involved the demolition and reconstruction of existing buildings, creation of artificial sports pitches on part of the existing playing fields and general landscaping including tree pit planting. Cardiff City Council's planning permission included a condition requiring a Soil Resource Survey and Soil Resource Plan to be submitted and approved prior to works commencing on site.  The Plan needed to:

  1. Assess the suitability of soil on site for reuse in planting schemes and sports pitches.
  2. Provide specifications of any imported soils to make good any shortfalls.


A detailed survey of the site found that soils were heavy clays, with topsoils suitable for reuse if handled according to the detailed advice provided. However, the subsoils were unsuitable for use in tree pit planting, meaning a small volume of imported material was required. Excess material was suitable for more restricted uses on site, eliminating the need to generate waste from the site. Our report included details of advised topsoil stripping depths and seasonal restrictions on safe machinery handling.

As a result of the survey our client was able to:

  • Meet their obligations under the planning condition
  • Protect on site topsoil and eliminate the potential for costly remediation after construction
  • Save money by minimising imported soil
  • Save money by eliminating the need for off-site disposal of waste soil
  • Save money on replacement costs for failed planting schemes

To enquire how LRA can help you deliver a similar project contact us on +44 (0)1509 670570 or email