Access to land for surveys and investigations during a project can often be an obstacle with severe repercussions to project programme, budget and the overall impression the project has on the local population. It is therefore imperative that the process can be executed diligently and effectively so that access can be granted and land unlocked with little to no impact to survey schedules or project timeframes. Ardent has over 25 years experience of gaining access to land for surveys.

In the past, this process has relied on a series of spreadsheets, separate spatial data, and a laborious manual process for updating and maintaining a track record of the access permissions and the production of accompanying plans.

Ardent’s Atlas and Geospatial Insights team (AGI) use modern, specialist digital solutions, to manage the survey access process from initial request for access, identification of key parties, stakeholder engagement, to survey planning with the onsite teams. All data collected is stored within Atlas, which allows us to utilise the information in further stages of the scheme when undertaking full referencing and compiling the Book of Reference and Land Plans.

The Atlas database allows the team to create and store detailed survey access questionnaires prior to survey work commencing, ensuring survey teams have all the relevant access information in one location, enabling them to work efficiently and highlight any potential risks at the earliest opportunity.

The AGI team utilises a host of bespoke web applications to aid survey teams in accessing and visualising survey access information. This integrated approach to data management, data creation and data visualisation, empowers project teams to take ownership of their data and reduces any potential bottlenecks in receiving returned licences and updating the status of the land parcel in question.

GIS web viewers provide teams with the ability to view the land information in a spatial manner and enables teams to edit the status of a licence as and when it changes. These updates are instantaneous and feed through other associated applications providing a real time view of the land access. Delivering survey data across a project in a GIS viewer, provides the client with the information they need at a click of a button.

Utilising web-based applications gives survey teams the flexibility to use the information on mobile devices as part of stakeholder engagement or to inform any enquiries that come from the public during the survey. Having the ability to show a visual representation of the project on a mobile device means it is quick and easy to explain the what, where and why aspects of the work being undertaken.

Interactive dashboards provide an intuitive, user-friendly platform for sharing key performance statistics to clients giving them a real time view of the information. It enables the survey access teams to monitor progress, highlight trends or areas of contention, and track ongoing licences. The information contained in these applications is pulled from the Atlas database, ensuring a common data environment for the project.

Ardent’s approach to land access is driven by digital solutions in order to increase efficiencies, manage potential risks and boost productivity across the project ensuring access is granted as effectively as possible. Contact our Atlas & Geospatial Insights manager, Adam Hankinson at, or contact us via our website at, for more information on how we can transform your survey access analysis.

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