Environmental Issues are an often over looked area of surveying work especially by home purchasers. However it is important that the environmental issues are investigated as it may have serious repercussions on value and in some cases cause a recent purchase to become unsellable.
Whether it is for a whole site or a single home, when undertaking surveys and analysing survey reports it is important that the following information is obtained.
Has there been any mining activity previously near to the Park?
Is the Park or surrounding areas subject to flooding?
Is the Park in an area of contamination?
Are there hazardous or deleterious materials on site?
Hazardous materials are defined as building materials that cause harm to users of property an example of this is asbestos. Whereas a deleterious building material is one that can breakdown and decay and perform in an undesirable way, ultimately causing harm to buildings due to failure for example high alumina cement.
Contamination can sometimes be natural (as can be seen below) and one park recently received “Once in a 100 year flood” three years in a row.
With the right information a potential purchaser or a site owner with a proposed site development/expansion in mind can make the right decision, all of the above areas are covered by our Pre-Purchase Report.
DCB Park Home Surveyors are often asked to advise on various items of legislation both the Development Act 1960 and the Mobile Homes Act 1983 often feature, particularly with Fire Separation Distances. As such this is an area we check for on our pre-purchase reports.
Fire separation distances ensure that homes are safely spaced and are often a requirement of site licenses, that are issued by Local Authorities to allow the Park to operate.
Mobile homes must where practicable be spaced at a distance of no less than 6 metres from any other caravan or mobile home which is occupied as a separate residence. However where a mobile home has retrospectively been fitted with cladding from Class 1 fire rated materials to its facing walls, then the separation distance between it and an adjacent mobile home may be reduced to a minimum of 5.25 metres.
An anomaly that has become apparent on some Local Authority Park’s however is that because they can’t issue a license to themselves they often operate without one, which not only has implications for trying to achieve finance it can also effect the application of warranties.
Although the main concern is what separation distances they have used, as over time the Park’s have often grown organically and not operated as they would be in the private sector.
This was recently found on one Local Authority owned Park survey where the distance of the home being surveyed was under 5 metres of two neighbouring properties and it did not even have retrospectively fitted cladding.
For legal advice always use a professional with park home experience.
The images to the left show Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, both of which are very hard to remove and require specialist treatment as they are classed as hazardous waste by the Environment Agency.
We have found both on park home surveys and when you consider that Japanese Knotweed
can grow at rapid rates to heights over 7 feet tall and grow in most locations, even breaking through concrete, it is importnat to know prior to purchase!