Notes for stopping development on green spaces over Landfill.

Parks and green space that have been placed over landfill are often considered ‘Brownfield’ if the planning authority wishes to develop them, which can make stopping them from being developed, more difficult than for other green space.

Check that the land is compliant with:

PPS 23

Received advise: (for your volunteer with some geological/engineering background): Take your own samples to contest the ones by the contractor: pick the spots where the vegetation is reluctant to grow, in our case this would have been the circle of moss where the council has planted a succession of trees that all died:

John: if you do your own sampling you can corroborate or otherwise the other guys data…  “ but we found 2047ppm lead and also asbestos at 0.5m in trial pit 23a… how therefore can your average 50ppm lead data be representative and give a rational basis for your risk assessment ?  that’s like the police only monitoring vehicle speed in the slow lane   ”

Penultimate page second para : this is what generates pre development site investigations which must assess all risks, solid liquid gaseous risks from contam ( including old landfill ).

The ultimate nuclear option for stopping development is to get it designated Contaminated Land under Part IIA of EPA 1990 : forever frozen in time… the contam must be preserved for ever and ever…the only way round it is to dig the old fill up and refill it with clean  ( which can happen in very valuable sites so beware…)

For gas its CIRIA 665, and there is a BS for what a contam land SI should include ( and spatial sampling rates which must be complied with or the document is toast ) , partially written by my good old friend Dr David Barry formerly of WS Atkins ( head of Contam Land division ) and now doing consulting out of Cranleigh, SW London …and if you get him on your side you’ll win

If it’s a clay pit, then probably all the interesting contaminants will still be there since they cannot migrate far in that geol.  Many landfills are deliberately built in such geol because the hole is already there and extra winnings can easily be engineered to the appropriate specification ( HDPE 2mm + 1m engineered clay with permeability at 1*10-9 m/sec or slower).

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