Ongoing Technical Studies
Noise impact assessment is being undertaken to inform proposals for the Leggart Brae housing development with the results of study feeding into layout and building design proposals. The study is necessary to ensure that future residents of the development are suitably protected from environmental noise, providing amenity within their dwellings and garden spaces. The study will focus on satisfying Scottish Government and Local Authority requirements for such a development, typically aiming to meet the minimum standards set out in BS8233:2014 “Guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings” and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for community noise. The approach the assessment will take will involve the creation of a detailed noise model of the development and immediate surrounding areas, from which noise contours will be extracted to establish the impact on the development and specific plots as appropriate. A Noise Impact Assessment report will be prepared on completion of the study, which will outline the results of the noise model, an assessment of impact and proposals for mitigation to elevate any noise issues to improve amenity of the site.
A flood risk assessment will be undertaken to inform the development of the site layout. The assessment will predict the extent of the 200 year floodplain of the Burn of Leggart within the site and development will be located outside of this floodplain area, consistent with planning policy. The assessment will also consider flood levels for the 200 year flood event with climate change and the development levels will be set so that the site is future-proofed for future increases in flow due to climate change. The assessment will calculate 200 year flows using standard, national methods and will calculate flood levels based on a mathematical model of the watercourse. This model will be based on channel cross-sections, obtained through land survey, as well as LiDAR topographical data for any overbank areas. The assessment will also consider risks from other sources, such as surface water runoff and the site will be designed taking these risks into account. The flood risk assessment will be submitted as a supporting document for the planning application for the site.
A tree survey and arboricultural impact assessment have been commissioned to ascertain the impact of the proposed Leggart Brae housing development on the existing trees at the site. The results of the survey will be utilised as part of the design proposal. Trees on and immediately adjacent to the site are classified according to the British Standard for trees in relation to design, demolition, and construction. The objective of the survey is to determine the constraints and potential to integrate the proposed development with the existing tree population. The tree survey and arboricultural impact assessment report form part of the submission to the local authority for the planning decision. This will detail the results of the tree survey, assess the impact of the development on trees at the site, and propose tree protection measures for all retained trees whilst providing mitigation for any unavoidable tree losses.
Archaeological Desk-based Assessments (DBAs) are being carried out to inform proposals for the proposed Leggart Brae housing development, the results of which will feed into and inform the final design. The historic environment’s contribution to the economy, cultural identity and quality of life is recognised within Scotland’s planning policy. The assessment includes an interrogation of available historic environment datasets, aerial photographs, historic maps and LiDAR to assess the overall potential for archaeological remains to be present within a proposed development area. The report can then suggest appropriate levels of archaeological mitigation in the form of geophysical survey, or archaeological trial trenching prior to construction which could be carried out in order to characterise and understand those archaeological remains and how they fit into the broader landscape. The River Dee terraces are one of the prime areas of north-east Scotland for Mesolithic occupation. There is a concentration of early prehistoric burial and ritual sites thoughout north Kincardineshire with recorded Bronze Age cairn fields on Tollohill, Blue Hill and Brodie Wood. With the development occupying previously undeveloped agricultural land, previously unknown archaeological remains may be present within the application boundary. If required appropriate archaeological mitigation prior to the construction of the housing development would allow any previously unknown remains (if present) to be recorded, characterised and assessed within a controlled setting and so inform our understanding of the past within a local and national framework. The archaeological desk-based assessment will be one of the documents submitted to the local authorities for planning determination and will outline the baseline historic environment data results, an assessment of the potential for archaeological remains to be present within the site boundary, and suggest possible appropriate further archaeological mitigation in order to record and understand any potential archaeological remains.
Ecological surveys and an impact assessment are being undertaken to inform proposals for the Leggart Brae housing development with the results of surveys feeding into the evolving design. Habitats upon the site and immediately adjacent are classified and evaluated for their ecological value. Searches are made for signs of protected species such as badger and otter and the use of the site by bats is monitored. The surveys also focus upon the ecological issues raised by the two local planning authorities, specifically the implications for the Den of Leggart Local Nature Conservation Site (LNCS) and for the river Dee, notified as a Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Regulations. Sustainable drainage features used for the control and cleansing of surface run-off from the completed development will provide additional wetland habitats. With the development occupying arable land, adverse ecological impacts are expected to be minimal. With the proposals for landscaping and habitat creation in the northern section of the site currently in arable use, gains to biodiversity may be realised from new woodland plantings and wildflower grasslands in the proposed parkland. The Ecological Impact Assessment report will be one of the documents submitted to the local authorities for planning determination and will outline the results of the surveys, an assessment of impact and proposals for enhancements to elevate the ecological and amenity value of the site.
Transport Assessments are required to ensure that safe access for vehicle, pedestrians and public transport users is considered as part of development proposals, and that the wider road network can safely accommodate any resulting increase in traffic flows. Transport Engineers carrying out these assessments look for connectivity to the wider road and footway network so as to provide a sustainable access strategy for all users of the site. It is important as part of preparing Transport Assessments that proper consideration is made of safe access for all vehicles, pedestrians and public transport users. Leggart Brae benefits from being situated in an area with both existing major and minor roads. Access opportunities exist both to the A92 to the east and to the minor road network to the north and west, both of which will provide possible vehicle and pedestrian connections to the wider road and footway network. Overall any development which considers both vehicle and active travel routes thoughtfully in its design can bring benefit to all users of the development and that of the wider community.
A Drainage Impact Assessment (DIA) is required to ensure that the development proposals consider Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs) in accordance with SEPA’s current requirements. The main purpose of a DIA is to demonstrate that the surface water drainage system adopted on a site will not be detrimental to the downstream water environment. Leggart Brae benefits from having a natural watercourse that passes through the development. Any new drainage system will be designed such that it limits the flow to pre-development levels, and also maintains water quality in line with SEPA standards. By doing this we will ensure that there is no net detriment to the downstream water environment due to the proposed development. Ideally, good development can be delivered by considering SUDs at the outset and integrating this into the development plan. By doing this there will be a benefit to the water environment, ecology and the overall visual amenity of the site.
An air quality assessment is to be completed for the proposed residential development at Leggart Brae to ascertain initially if the existing air quality conditions at the proposed development site fall within legal limits to allow residential development, and also to quantify the impact from the proposed development within both the construction phase and the operational phase of the development. There are a number of areas of poor air quality across Aberdeen which have been designated as Air Quality Management Areas. Therefore it is very important that the operational phase of the proposed development does not significantly impact the existing pollutant concentrations within the surrounding area and in a wider context across Aberdeen. The main source of pollution within Aberdeen, and predicted to be from the development site, will be from vehicular emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) and particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5 ) therefore this is where the air quality assessment will concentrate its impact assessment. The assessment is to be completed using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to build a robust assessment of the air quality impacts of the proposed development. Best practice mitigation measures will be included within the assessment as standard, while a view on further mitigation will also be given in the event that any significant impacts are predicted.