Over the years agb Environmental has helped many clients to develop the land near, and on, former landfill sites. Here is our guide to building near landfills safely and successfully:
What action should be taken before purchasing land near a working landfill?
A Phase 1 Desk Study and a Phase 2 Intrusive Investigation, including the installation of monitoring standpipes, should be undertaken. The ground gases would have to be monitored over a period defined in the industry guidance and acceptable to the Local Authority, as well as a groundwater analysis completed. The groundwater, if present, may also have to be analysed due to associated landfill leachates.
Should this be different if the site was near, or on, a former landfill?
If a site was near, or on a former landfill, agb Environmental would recommend additional soil analysis along with groundwater analysis. A geotechnical investigation would also be advisable to aid foundation design, especially if site buildings are to be located upon areas of ground that is expected to be inherently variable.
What assessments are required to achieve planning permission for former landfill sites?
To successfully achieve planning permission for a site located near a landfill, be it active of historic, a Phase 1 Desk Study would be a minimal requirement and is likely to be followed by a Phase 2 intrusive investigation including ground gas monitoring. A risk assessment could then be completed based on the findings. Gas Membrane Remediation and Validation are also crucial to acquiring planning consent for former landfill sites.
If the site is found to have high levels concentrations of ground gas and contamination, what is the next step for developers?
Should the investigation confirm high concentrations of ground gases and/or contamination this may prove costly to remediate, and it would be a commercial decision as to whether the development is viable or whether to abandon the project. Should the project continue, a remediation method statement would be provided detailing the protective measures to be incorporated as part of remediation, in the case of ground gas this would include a suitable membrane possibly in conjunction with other measures. This would be followed by validation to achieve planning consent.
Additional investigation could be needed, and if viable the production of a RMS could be conducted. A remediation and thus a validation would follow.
Why should developers choose agb Environmental to conduct their assessments?
Clients that commission agb Environmental benefit from having a single point of contact. We can assist with project management by including and delivering multiple environmental surveys with our in-house team. We can assist with projects from commencement through to completion, and provide a single point of contact for various phases of investigation dependent upon planning conditions or engineer/architect requirements. This saves time and money by eliminating conflicting advice and costly redrafting time.
agb Environmental has a track record of assisting clients getting their sites through the planning process using simple, proven low-cost approaches, effectively enabling development.
For more information regarding building on former landfill sites, call the agb Environmental team and ask for Alex Brearley on 01638 663226.