Government policy favours development on previously used land, commonly known as ‘brownfield’ sites. However, piling and penetrating ground improvement has the potential to create adverse environmental impacts when used on land affected by contamination, in particular, on the potential for pollution of groundwater.
The Environment Agency have published initial technical guidance regarding the assessment of risks associated with, and preventing pollution from, piling and penetrative ground improvement methods. The report outlines a process to allow designers to select an appropriate piling method and any mitigation and monitoring measures required.
The preparation of a foundation works risk assessment report, and its examination by the Environment Agency and local authority planning officers, is intended to assist planning authorities in granting permission or enforcing planning conditions.
RSA Geotechnics have carried out a number of piling risk assessments for major and high risk development schemes on land affected by contamination. Each report provides information on the ground conditions and contamination issues and the associated environmental impacts and remedial measures.