Greenwich Peninsula regeneration
The Millennium Dome, as the flagship development on a massive regenerated site on the Greenwich Peninsula, symbolises not only the new era but also the vast potential that the remediation of brownfield sites can offer, as a new Government study spells out
Confirmation of the potential value of brownfield redevelopment, through a
combination of reclamation technology and investment, comes in new
Government research into the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula in
Commenting on the study, DETR Regeneration Minister Hilary Armstrong, said:
“The impact of the peninsula developments will extend long after the
Millennium celebrations, providing lasting economic opportunities locally
and across the Thames Gateway. The transformation of the peninsula from a
wasteland to a vibrant area of prosperity and activity shows just what
regeneration with a vision can achieve.”
The report shows that the clean-up and development of the peninsula,
including the Millennium Dome, the Greenwich Millennium Village and a new
park, have provided jobs, funding and a focus for regeneration programmes.
The study estimates that about 20-40% (£25-50 million) of the value of
Single Regeneration Budget (SEB) programmes awarded in the local area in the
late 1990s was geared to exploit opportunities presented by the peninsula
The decision to locate the Millennium Experience on the peninsula in 1996
prompted much of the regeneration activity that rapidly followed, the study
notes. English Partnerships became involved as the landowner of the former
British Gas site on the peninsula in February 1997. It took on the
responsibility for land decontamination and site preparation for the
Greenwich Peninsula developments as a whole.
The current masterplan envisages an innovative mixed-use development. Part
of this encompasses the Greenwich Millennium Village, with its associated
retail, leisure and hotel developments. “However,” the study emphasises,
“until the future use of the Dome is determined, the way in which the
remainder of the peninsula will actually be developed remains uncertain.”
Dealing with development so far, the study estimates that £150-155 million
of public expenditure will have been associated with regeneration activity
linked to the peninsula developments carried out to date. The report for the
DETR also states that possible future outputs include: 80 hectares of fully
remediated and serviced land and 30 hectares of partially remediated land
which has already been achieved; 1,377 mixed tenure homes in the Millennium
Village and a further 1,600 elsewhere on the peninsula: and a range of
environmental improvements (eg to the riverside).
Protection at the Dome
One of the technical features of the wide-ranging use of decontamination
techniques applied to flagship Greenwich Peninsula site was the use a
flexible membrane to seal the entire floor area of the Dome.
For a century the land where the Millennium Dome has been erected was the
site for Port Greenwich Gasworks, causing the soil to be extensively
contaminated by coal gasification waste. Contamination could be found in
land to a depth of four metres.
The first clean-up of the land was conducted by British Gas. This involved
the removal of material which was in danger of causing pollution ground
water being particularly susceptible. Around 700,000 tonnes was taken away
to designated dumps.
The remaining land was subjected to various processes to rid it of
contaminate particles washing, soil vapour extraction and speeding up
aerobic biodegradation by drawing oxygen into the ground. The work,
undertaken by Nuttall, was complete in December 1997.
English Partnerships, the current owner of the site where millions of
visitors are expected to visit the Dome, and where a priority is ecological
welfare in the development of surrounding land, has ensured that the
remaining contaminated land is effectively managed.
The Millennium Dome covers an area of around 80,000m2. The entire floor area
was sealed by a flexible membrane liner to prevent contaminated particles
from rising upwards. Geofabrics MP400 is being used as a protection barrier
to the gas membrane, both inside the dome and associated external buildings.
Geofabrics MP400 offers a high puncture resistance of 3,000N for a
lightweight geotextile of 400g/m.
Liner installer for the project was Landline.
Contaminated land guidance
The regeneration of brownfield sites, on a nation-wide scale, is likely to
gather momentum now that the Government¹s Contaminated Land Guidance has
been published in its final version.
Published on 16 February 2000, the DETR¹s Contaminated Land (England)
Regulations 2000 & Statutory Guidance: Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)
(Final) deals with the regulations and statutory guidance which form key
elements in the implementation of the new regulatory regime for the legacy
of contaminated land.
The statutory guidance covers five distinct aspects of the regime: the
definition of contaminated land; its identification; its remediation;
exclusions from and apportionment of liabilities for the cost of
remediation: and recovery of the cost of remediation.
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