Ebbsfleet Masterplanning Surveys

Pell Frischmann was contracted by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to undertake a topographic survey of approximately 300 acres of mixed-use land. The land consisted of redundant quarries, a landfill site, a major international train station and brownfield area, surrounded by junctions and major trunk roads. The site size, tight programme and site constraints meant a mix of data acquisition techniques had to be utilised.

What we are doing

Site constraints and the tight six-week programme meant three different acquisition techniques were used and combined into one coherent model.

A site wide network of Primary Control Points was established using Static GNSS observations linked to the OS SmartNET, transformed on to a site-wide plane grid. From this a secondary network of 63 control points, suitable for different acquisition techniques was established. The survey of the existing 4.5Km road network also included the slip roads to the A2 trunk road. These roads were very busy and would have required road closures and traffic management to survey using total stations. The timescale to obtain these would have exceeded the delivery programme, so we used a Leica Pegasus two vehicle mounted mobile mapper to collect the data in one day without the need for manned road access – this allowed a fully registered point cloud to be produced using the pre-established control points.

The large disused quarries and landfill areas were hazardous for manned access and these were surveyed using a DJI Phantom 4 UAV over a two-day period. The remaining car parks, station area and areas obstructed from the mobile mapper and UAV were surveyed using traditional total station techniques.


The project was delivered on time, to the required accuracies for hard and soft detail, with the mobile mapping exported in LAS format with an RSME of +6mm and the UAV data to +25mm.

The point clouds were exported to SCC software, where the ability to auto-model kerb edges, and create Digital Terran Models by automatically removing vegetation and trees, enabled the Surveying Team to quickly extract the topographic detail from the cloud and into 3D AutoCAD for the design to proceed.


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