Case Study

Troubleshooting to get a residential development back on track

How we used our planning and building expertise to unlock significant challenges and help the site owner realise the value of their investment.


Totterdown Road, Weston-Super-Mare.

We put our experience and knowledge to the test, helping a local builder overcome technical challenges to build 4 new flats and two bungalows.

The Challenges
  • The previous owners had obtained planning permission, but conditions still needed to be released
  • Substantial building issues existed, including contamination, noise mitigation, geotechnical engineering due to poor foundations and challenging demolition work.
Our Approach

Landhaven has good working relationships with many builders. So when one of them approached us about a site they’d purchased, we were only too happy to help.

For decades, people had used the site for light manufacturing and storage. However, being surrounded by1930s housing meant commercial use was no longer appropriate, and the building had fallen into disrepair.

Planning permission was in place, but several other elements and consent had to be established before the building could start. We modelled the whole project using 3D design software and began systematically addressing the remaining design issues one by one, of which there were many!

For example, the specialists we bought to survey and report on the contamination discovered that the site contained some contaminants in the soil and an underground storage tank containing the residue of unknown substances! Eventually, we could replace the contaminated ground with clean soil and pump out the tank, backfilling it with concrete to neutralise it.

As the site is close to a railway line, we also worked with sound engineers to design a suitable sound barrier fence, to which the Council consented.

Knowing that ground conditions in Weston-Super-Mare become increasingly tricky the nearer you are to the seafront, we instructed a geotechnical survey of the ground conditions, only to discover traditional foundations would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, the only way to support structural loads from the flats was by using piled foundations. We liaised further with structural engineers and piling contractors to ensure these works were specified, approved and carried out correctly.

The Outcome
All the new homes were completed, signed off and sold in 2018; with the builder’s son buying one of the bungalows as his first property.