SmartParc Spondon

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Contaminated Land

Environmental Due Diligence

Contaminated Land Trusted Advisor, Regulatory Negotiation


SmartParc is redeveloping the former Celanese chemical works in Spondon, Derby to provide a world-class cutting-edge food production campus.  It will not only produce food through centrally shared facilities and services, but will create a highly sustainable and least-cost production base, engineered to address the issues facing the future of food production, distribution and security.

The 52-hectare former chemical works was used for manufacturing from 1916 to 2012, initially creating water-proofing for WW1 aeroplane fabrics and later vinyl acetate, acetate tow and nylon-based materials.  Manufacturing ceased on the Site in 2012, and was followed by decommissioning and demolition to slab level.  The chemical history of the Site resulted in multiple contamination sources and associated groundwater plumes beneath the Site.  These had been investigated, and in some cases remediated, over the last 20 to 25 years with an extensive number of previous reports available to review. 

The key issues remained a significant chlorinated solvent plume presenting a potential risk to the adjacent River Derwent and multiple redevelopment constraints including extensive redundant services, foundations, slabs and voids.  However, prior to the involvement of Delta-Simons, the focus had been on environmental risk mitigation and liability management rather than redevelopment. 

Our client therefore sought a consultant with strength in depth to deliver site characterisation which would: Inform the redevelopment assessment; Support an outline planning application for the proposed, regionally important, development; and Support the tendering of the extensive Site civilisation and remediation works package.

Scope of Works

To date the scope of works completed by Delta-Simons has included:

  • Due diligence data review (of over 300 reports), Site characterisation and assessment to inform the Site purchase;
  • Delivery of an outline environmental strategy and remediation verification strategy;
  • Technical support to the tendering of a £multi-million remediation and civilisation works package;
  • Regulatory engagement supporting both the outline planning application and subsequent discharge of associated planning conditions; and
  • Supplementary plot-specific investigation to inform construction phase human health mitigation measures.

Outcomes / Client Benefit

▲      Despite the significant land quality challenges facing the Site redevelopment, our commercially-focussed contaminated land advice enable the client to purchase the Site;

▲      Proactive regulatory engagement from an early stage built trust with key staff, providing confidence in the proposed remediation strategy and assisting the smooth progression through the planning process;

▲      Full time attendance providing surety to the Client and their funder that that remediation and civilisation works being delivered are within the parameters defined by the Remediation Strategy;

▲      Support to a development which will return a brownfield Site to beneficial use, which is anticipated to generate up to 5,000 jobs and put Derby and the UK at the heart of the future of sustainable food manufacturing.

See our Contaminated Land Service here.