Monthly Archives: February 2024

Is 3% to 5% Radon Dangerous?


It means that between 3% and 5% of the home in your area are above 200 Becquerels m-3 .The conclusion of this page is “if in doubt” test. Get a testing kit from UK Radon (Part of Government) and follow their instructions. Our professional advice is not to test for less than 3 months. It is quite likely to give and inaccurate result. Read on for more delicious boffin waffle:


You are reading this because Radon is dangerous. Radon is a radioactive gas, and  small percentages in the air that you are breathing can be disaster. But how small? And what does 3 to 5 % mean?

Every building contains radon but the levels are usually low. The chances of a higher level depend on the type of ground. UK Health Security Agency has published a map showing where high levels are more likely.

Above from UK Radon.It is boradley correct, but as well as the “type of ground” the type of building is very important.


The “action” level for Radon is 200 Becquerels m-3   At this point we don’t really need to understand what that means, just that is exists.

What Does 3% to 5% Mean?

It means that between 3% and 5% of the home in your area are above 200 Becquerels m-3  (the action level). The worst it could be is 30% over the level, and best is 1% or less.

So that is a bit confusing isn’t it. Is you home dangerous or not? Well really we would need to know a lot about you building before we could make a guess. Not only what radon was coming out of the ground (difficult to measure), but also how much of it leaks out (also difficult to measure).

Type of Building

Good – If the house is a modern building with a radon protection barrier, sump, and other features then chances are that you indoor air quality will be good (with regards to radon) and you will be below action level. But the bottom line is you do not know if you are safe unless you test. Perhaps the builders made some mistakes, perhaps they didn’t follow the plans, or the building inspector forgot to check. . . .

Bad – If the house is old, and maybe has a suspend timber floor, with no damp proof course, then radon can get in to the house from the ground. However, if the house also has old leaky windows and drafts coming under the door, then this may help keep radon levels lower, as they will have less chance build up. Things like positive input ventilation, or a wood burner, or a vented tumble drier can also affect air flow through the house, and affect radon levels. But the bottom line is you do not know if you are safe unless you test.

Ugly – An old house, with no damp proof course which as be subsequently upgraded to include double glazing, draft proofing and uses combustion appliances with balanced flues, will experience very little air flow, whilst allowing ground gases (including radon) in to the building. Very very much worth urgently doing some testing if you are in this situation.


The bottom line is you do not know if you are safe unless you test.

There are too many variables to predict accurately what the radon level in a house will be. All we know from the 3% to 5% bracket, is that “some” houses in your area have a problem.

Construction techniques, building age, choice of appliances, choice of heating systems, and user behaviour all play a role in radon levels. The bottom line is you do not know if you are safe unless you test.

When you do the test get you kits direct from UK radon:

They are the official government labs, and will not recommend test period of less than 90 days. Do not test for less than 90 days because of all the variables, as mentioned above, you need to measure for a long period to make sure results are representative.

Planning Consultants Bristol 


60 Day Rule for Camping & Flood Risk

60 Day Rule for Camping & Flood Risk

You have been Asked for a Flood Risk Assessment and Flood Warning Plan when you have decided to extend your 28 days camping rule, to 60 days you may be required to submit a Flood Risk Assessment and a Flood Warning Plan. We can write both of these for you.

In the last chapter on this page we offer a up a few tips if you would like to try and write you own flood risk assessment.

a picuture show camping and tents flooded in a field the water is muddy and you cannot see the gound the tops of the colourful tents are poking out of the surface of the flood water

Glastonbury 2005 – Creative Commons 2.0 – sebFlyte

The 60-day Rule

  • Introduced in July 2023, it allows landowners to use their land as a campsite for up to 60 days per calendar year for up to 50 pitches, without needing full planning permission.
  • It applies to tents, motorhomes, and campervans (but not touring caravans).
  • You must notify your local planning authority beforehand with details like dates, site plan, and waste disposal methods.

Flood Risk and the 60-day Rule

Sites in Flood Zone 2 or 3 Require Additional Consideration

Even outside Flood Zones 2 & 3, be Cautious

      • Check historical flood maps and local flood risk information.
      • Choose campsites on high ground, away from bodies of water, and avoid low-lying areas.
      • Stay updated on weather forecasts and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.


  • The 60-day rule simplifies permissions, but flood safety remains paramount.
  • Prioritize safety and choose campsites with minimal flood risk, regardless of the rule’s applicability.

A Little Help

We fully appreciate that some smaller campsite, may not make a huge amount of money, and as such we provide the below hints for writing your own Flood Risk Assessment which perfectly OK thing to do.

  • Why not use Google Gemini to Write the Bulk of the Text for You
  • Order a “Product 4” from the Environment Agency (You can do this via “Flood Map for Planning “)
  • Use the data they provide (you have to wait 20 days) to write you report.
  • Move camping areas to low risk areas.
  • Use flood risk areas for open areas or sports areas.
  • Describe what people will do if the campsite becomes flooded, and where they can shelter.
  • Read about “flash flooding” and what the dangers are, think about how you can warn people about it (sign up to flood warnings and sever weather warnings).

Lots of Help

We can do this for you if you like.

Shadow Habitat Regulation Assessment: Ashford, Kent


Do you need an SHRA (Shadow Habitat Regulation Assessment) for you planning application, in Ashford, Kent? If you do please contact us and we can quote for a cost effective and timely service.

Why Do I need and SHRA?

The nutrient neutrality issue in Ashford, Kent, revolves around protecting the water quality of the Stour catchment, which has been negatively impacted by excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients primarily come from sources like agriculture and wastewater treatment plants.

By Alex Lockton – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Here’s a breakdown of the issue:

The Problem:

  • Excess nutrients in the Stour catchment harm sensitive habitats like the internationally important Stodmarsh nature reserve, so an Shadow Habitat Regulation Assessment is needed.
  • To address this, Natural England implemented regulations requiring “nutrient neutrality” for new developments. This means any development that adds nutrients through wastewater needs to find ways to offset that impact elsewhere.

The Impact:

  • This requirement has significantly impacted building projects in Ashford, as around 90% of planned development sites fall within the affected area.
  • Many planning applications have been put on hold, hindering housing development and causing economic concerns, unless a Shadow Habitat Regulation Assessment can be provided, and then not even then!

The Controversy:

  • Local authorities like Ashford Borough Council argue that the onus shouldn’t solely fall on them to address a wider issue beyond their control.
  • They emphasize that water companies and the Environment Agency, responsible for water quality, should share the responsibility.
  • The government initially proposed changes to lessen the burden on local authorities, but these were met with opposition and not enacted.

Current Status:

  • As of October 2023, the government is working on a new bill to address the nutrient neutrality issue, aiming to shift responsibility to relevant bodies. But this was voted out, owing to being so poorly written. And as such for the time being the issue remains.
  • Ashford Borough Council continues to seek solutions for development while the new bill takes shape.

Further Resources: