A director of environmental services at Caulmert has become one of the first in the country to gain a new industry accreditation.
Celia Pendlebury has become a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) under the National Quality Mark Scheme, launched this January by the Land Forum to improve efficiency during the planning phase in the UK property development sector.
The objective of the scheme is to increase professionalism and standards in the assessment and interpretation of investigations of land potentially adversely affected by pollution or instability.
The Land Forum is a consortium of public and private sector organisations representing industry, land owners, consultants, regulators, and government.
And Celia, who is one of just 63 SQPs in the UK, is pleased steps are being taken to speed up the planning process.
“The benefits of this scheme are huge to commercial developers,” she said.
“A report stamped as part of a National Quality Mark Scheme provides assurances to regulators and commercial developers that land contamination matters have been adequately addressed and managed.
“It is hoped this will speed up regulatory permissions or decisions by getting submissions right first time, or by reducing requests for further data.
“It was an important step for me to become an SQP, and it allows Caulmert to provide reports with the guarantee they have been prepared by suitably competent persons, in line with expected industry procedures.”
Celia has been an accredited SiLC (Specialist in Land Condition) practitioner for 10 years and is also a chartered geologist. She undertook a further exam in order to qualify as an SQP.
At present, the scheme covers submissions for planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) in relation to possible land contamination at potential development sites.
The Land Forum hopes to extend the National Quality Mark Scheme to cover work related to soil or groundwater pollution.