As part of the regeneration of a former 97 hectares (240acres) industrial site which hosted historic brick and refractory works, extensive flooded former quarry workings in a Grade 1 aquifer, old landfill and deep coal mining, the team developed a detailed sustainable brownfield regeneration and habitat creation programme. To further complicate matters, the site straddled the local authority boundary between Bassetlaw and Bolsover District Councils.

The proposed Phase 1 development for the site included a new major manufacturing facility, access road and enabling works, together with the demolition of the existing derelict factory and associated facilities. Due to operational time constraints, Phase 1 of the development had a site specific Environmental Assessment undertaken that covered all the ecological, archaeological and contamination issues associated with the initial site area.

Extensive geo-environmental investigations and assessments were carried out due to the historical use and abuse of the site. These were followed by recommendations for site remediation and foundation design for the first phase of the development. The main issues that were overcome were high levels of ground contamination, including development of onsite treatment and disposal to landfill, the location and stabilisation of deep mines and shafts, the protection of controlled waters and the public communication the scheme required.

Throughout the planning and development stages, comprehensive public consultations were held, including local exhibitions and meetings attended by the Client representatives, our environmental team and the Planning Consultants, DHA. Despite initial public concerns, these consultations led to the project attracting a high level of local public and regulatory support and a strong social license for the works.

Following the grant of conditional planning consent for the Phase 1 factory development, comprehensive remedial works were carried out by the client under supervision by the environmental team. These enabling works included large scale demolition and decontamination including bio-remediation and soil stabilisation, the construction of dedicated containment cells, excavation of caves of archaeological importance and the protection of the sensitive ground water and ecological habitats. These were all carried out to the satisfaction of the local Environment Agency, Local Planning Authorities and other consultees.

During the construction of the Phase 1 factory, a detailed ESIA was undertaken as part of the development of a comprehensive Masterplan for the remainder of the 97Ha site. This Masterplan encompassed additional factory units for the client and a rail siding, but also made provision for large parts of the wider site to be allocated for environmental and habitat conservation to protect surface waters and encourage ecological regeneration.

Client: Laing O’Rourke

Local Stakeholders: Local residents, former employees of the site, Environment Agency, Bassetlaw District Council and Bolsover District Council