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Cost Effective Land Management of a National Quarry Portfolio

Client: Hanson Building Products Ltd

Hanson’s aim is for control of land management costs, through approved contractors, to ensure statutory commitments are met and planning conditions are fulfilled, therefore enabling the core operational activity to proceed as permitted. Over the last 15 years we have developed an effective model to specify, tender and instruct annual maintenance work.

We produce a budget for the following calendar year (split quarterly), to collate maintenance operations alongside Forestry Commission grant income and supervision fees. The budget refers to a clear site map showing all land resources and wider landscaping alongside hard infrastructure and health and safety information. Areas and lengths are quantified from the map with man days or unit rates allocated, for a robust and simple forecast.

In the autumn the work is grouped into four visits, all shown on a work schedule for easy reference, and tendered to three reputable local operators. Forestry and agricultural contractors are favoured for their lower costs and high standards of work. We are independent of contracting interests so we provide impartial advice on the best price and the most committed operator to instruct. Prices are compared to budget and the comprehensive tender documents are then easily formalised into a contract with terms and conditions and health and safety details. Timing the instruction ahead of winter allows any bare root planting work to be carried out in the November to March period and tree felling ahead of core bird nesting season.

Our quarterly inspections include a circular site walk to identify boundary maintenance and cover other eventualities. Site reports are prompt and succinct in the form of a structured email to client and contractor, detailing snagging works and additional requirements. Contractor invoices are then processed and authorised for payment by our administration team.

This streamlined system minimises the administration costs associated with managing a large land resource. Quarry managers and account departments find it easy to engage with, and new sites are easily incorporated as the property portfolio expands. The system also allows flexibility as provisional time is built into the contract to draw down, as required, in response to unforeseen maintenance work.

“By handing over to Lockhart Garratt for landscape creation or management I know the design and budget will be in proportion and the contractor prompt and diligent”.

Tim Darling, Hanson Building Products Ltd

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