Comprehensive environmental data on UK properties available online

A new e-commerce site is offering detailed environmental information for all English and Welsh postcodes and OS grid references. This is the UK's first such online service.

Sitescope is aimed primarily at environmental consultants. Using data from more than a dozen sources – including the Environment Agency, Technos, Doornkamp, AEA Technology and others – the site allows users to search for environmental information relating to 45 different categories. These include:

  • air quality
  • borehole activity
  • active and inactive landfill sites
  • historical and contemporary industrial activity
  • flood and subsidence risk
  • discharge consents
  • pollution incidents
  • petrol and fuel sites

“We’re not the only group to gather all this information together,” Tony Gillon of Catalytic Data told edie, but Catalytic Data is the only company to offer it via CD Rom and, now, online. Gillon says this makes the service more useful to environmental consultants and less expensive.

Catalytic’s decision to go online was influenced by the success of its CD Rom launched in February 1999. The online service has improved on the CD Rom with the introduction of quick and simple mapping.

Gillon says the company has plans to launch a service aimed specifically at local authorities trying to fulfil their new contaminated land responsibilities (these come into force in April) and a searchable landfill register.

Online access to data from out-of-copyright historic maps is also in the works. Catalytic has scanned Huntingdon’s historic maps and provided them to the council in CD Rom format and is now in the process of scanning a large collection of historic maps dating from the 1860s to the 1950s . These will be available online as a separate service to the current Sitescope property searches.

Some of the information on Sitescope is free, but detailed reports require payment. That said, all searches and reports are free until 3 March and Gillon hopes that as many people as possible take advantage of the free offer.

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