Contaminated Land

PBA are a long established consultancy that specialises in facilitating the development of brownfield land whilst ensuring that the requirements of the regulators are met

The British Isles is imbued with a long industrial legacy which, when coupled with the need to redevelop and renew brownfield sites, often leads to conflict between developers and regulators.

The presence of contaminated land is not necessarily an obstacle to development – The assessment of contaminated land is risk based and is dependent on the characteristics of site users, and the environmental context of a site.

The process of assessing the presence and impact of contamination is therefore crucial in determining the steps required to render a site safe for development, and is usually a requirement of the relevant local authorities as part of the planning process.

Normally this assessment consists of a series of progressively more rigorous and site specific assessments of risk designed to screen sites which represent lower risk, and to address in greater detail those sites where there is risk, or potential risk, of harm (as defined by Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act) to living organisms or controlled waters as a result of contamination.

Generally, the form which the assessment takes (as prescribed by EA R&D document CLR11) is:

  • Phase I Desk Study – A search and summary of archived environmental, geological and hydrological data, with a brief qualitative assessment of risk.
  • Phase II Environmental & Geotechnical Site Investigation – Should significant risk be identified during Phase I, an intrusive Phase II investigation of the site is usually recommended. This would typically include chemical examination of the soil, and may be coupled with an examination of the site for geotechnical purposes, such as foundation design. Risk is re-assessed based on the findings
  • Environmental Risk Modelling (QRA) – An in depth quantitative assessment of risk using mathematical and statistical modelling, based on the findings of Phase II

Following the characterisation of risk, remedial works, supervision of redevelopment and/or verification works may be necessary. The requirement for these elements will be site and context specific, however Pam Brown Associates (PBA) are happy to advise and undertake any works required, and liaise with regulators as required.