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With the UK government’s housing target to be delivering 300,000 new homes per year, comes the necessary development of more land. Encouraged by the government’s plans, 70% of brownfield sites are to be planned and developed.
Brownfield sites are any pieces of land previously developed but not currently in use. This puts them at higher risk of being contaminated by asbestos or other hazardous materials, especially if buildings have been demolished pre-Control of Asbestos regulations. They can also be sites previously used for industrial or commercial purposes with known or suspected pollution, including contamination due to hazardous waste.
The higher likelihood of contamination can cause problems when purchasing land, or for future developers.
If contamination is discovered before works start, a plan can be formulated to survey and decontaminate the affected area. If it’s discovered after development works have started, it might pose a severe health risk to contractors forcing them to stop work – the costs associated with this are much more likely to spiral and cause serious delays.
Often brownfield sites are classified as being contaminated by local councils based on the likelihood of them being so, rather than being based on any kind of test or investigation.
We were contacted by one homeowner to assist in the reclassification of a parcel of land to the rear of their property, which had been classified as contaminated during development.
We undertook a full assessment for them. That included collecting samples and producing a detailed report to be issued to the Local Council to have the land reclassified. Asbestos was not identified, nor likely to be present within the land in question according to our findings. As a result, the land was reclassified by removing the ‘suspect’ contamination.
We have also conducted testing for the educational, industrial, and agricultural sectors, helping universities, railways, and farmers to move forward with projects which could otherwise have been stymied by the assumed presence of asbestos.
Find out more, and get in touch regarding asbestos soil testing here.