Residential Development, Brecon


We undertook a site investigation on a sloping green field site in Brecon that at first glance looked like it might be relatively straightforward. The desk study and investigation was able to provide the client with a report that outlined possible site constraints that needed consideration prior to the land purchase.

The site was also within a Regionally important Geodiversity Site (RIGS) and our scope of works had to consider this designation carefully with liaison with the RIGS representative from Powys County Council.


Our Desk Study identified that the soils at the site may be prone to landslides, or instability and an old landfill was noted within proximity to the site, that presented a possible source of hazardous ground gas.  The site is also within a RIGS; the area has a small flight of ‘down-stepping’ valley side lateral morainic ridges parallel to the long axis of the Tarell Valley and extends into the Usk Valley.

Our investigation had to provide sufficient information for the proposed development but also needed to provide interpretative information for the South Wales RIGS Group on the soils below the site.


Diagram showing how a ‘flight’ of down-stepping lateral moraine ridges form as a valley glacier downwastes (after Boulton and Eyles, 1979).

ESP carried out a desk study comprising a review of historical maps, environmental data, geological data review of published works and LiDAR data.  A site investigation followed which included geomorphological mapping, trial pitting, soakaway infiltration testing and shallow windowless sampling.

Following a review and interpretation, our work was able to generate a Ground Model for the site, which suggests that the site is underlain by two lateral ridges, possible separated by a natural low point which comprised slightly different soils.

The complex nature of the site was presented to the client in a report, along with site specific recommendations which considered their proposed housing layout.

The site is cross by an intermediate pressure gas pipe, along with other numerous services and ESP met regulators and their staff on site to agree safe methods of work and easements which was clearly presented in our Risk Assessments and Method Statements for the site.

Further works are proposed for the site that include slope stability assessments, ground gas and groundwater monitoring and production of an earthworks specification.




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