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£82M decontamination of Chesterfield coking works to begin

A £82M contract to clean-up 500,000m3 of contaminated soil at the former Avenue Coking works in Chesterfield has been awarded to a VolkerStevin/ DEC/Sita Remediation joint venture.

The £82 million contract, commissioned by client East Midlands Development Agency and funded by the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) through their National Coalfields Programme.

Project director for VSD Avenue, Marcus Foweather, said: “This is one of the most complex civil engineering remediation schemes in Europe and we have worked hard to ensure that the remediation works set new standards and provide a benchmark for other heavily contaminated sites. 

“It uses some exciting remediation techniques using state of the art technology as well as focusing on sustainability and environmental issues.

“We have spent many years developing and testing the techniques which will be used at the Avenue and are confident that we can deliver the development platform as well as clean, green open spaces for the local community and wildlife habitats,“ he said.

VSD Avenue obtained planning permission for the remediation works in 2007 and has since been working on a more detailed solution to the contamination problems on site, which will use techniques that haven’t been used in the UK on this scale before.  This will require a uniquely designed thermal desorption treatment plant and a water treatment facility to be built on site.

The regeneration of the former industrial site is expected to start in early September and will take around five years to complete.  It will involve the excavation of around two million cubic metres of material, includes the clean up of two silt lagoons, a registered asbestos waste tip and ground pollution caused by heavy metals and waste chemicals.  A commitment by the project team to sustainable regeneration will ensure that most of the treated material will be reused on site.

Project director for emda, Mike Fenton, adds: “The consortium has a wealth of experience in these types of difficult remediation schemes and I am confident they will clean up this contaminated site to the highest possible standards to ensure local residents can benefit from improved area that will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

The remediation of the Avenue Coking Works will provide 23 hectares of mixed use development land with the remaining land being landscaped by VSD Avenue to provide new public open space, new wildlife habitats and sporting facilities.

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