Brownfield and contaminated land in the melting pot

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Feb. 14, 2014 - PRLog -- Planning reform, risk assessment, site investigation techniques, asbestos in soil, stakeholder engagement, managing risks and liabilities and what Northern Ireland can learn from England after implementing its statutory contaminated land and planning guidance are some of the subjects covered in the Brownfield and Contaminated Land Conference in Belfast on 25 March.

This 3rd conference, brought to you by Newzeye, the publishers of Brownfield Briefing and Sustainable Building, offers regulatory updates and practical solutions aimed at enabling improved risk assessments and maximising investment opportunities when developing brownfield and contaminated land.

Chaired by Dr Rory Doherty, School of Planning Architecture & Civil Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, the programme provides authoritative comment from the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and the Environmental Protection Agency, RoI, along with practical advice on the latest developments in contaminated land risk assessment and remediation.

Key to future planning and development in Northern Ireland is the on-going Review of Public Administration (RPA) and Local Government Reform. This will bring increased roles and responsibilities for councils in community planning from 2015. A senior speaker from the Planning Policy Division of the Department of the Environment will provide an update on progress made to date in implementing the planning reform programme and outline what the changes really mean for different stakeholders.

Whilst a defined statutory contaminated land regime remains to be introduced in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, there are lessons that can be learnt from the changes recently implemented in England & Wales. Phil Crowcroft, Partner & Technical Fellow, Environmental Resources Management Ltd will outline the practical impacts of key changes to the statutory guidance for Part 2A and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in England, and how the new guidance is working in practice. As a member of the National Panel of Experts set up by DEFRA to support Local Authorities following changes to Part 2A guidance, Phil is well placed to suggest lessons that could be learnt, and explore what Ireland could achieve from implementing Part III or an alternative statutory contaminated land regime.

For all those involved in the planning and development of brownfield land, conducting an effective and justifiable risk assessment, and building confidence in site investigation is a vital early step. Dr Theresa Kearney, Principal Scientific Officer, Northern Ireland Environment Agency will detail the requirements for producing a robust, coherent and appropriate risk assessment to support a planning application.

Caroline McCaffrey, Head of Contaminated Land, Land Quality Management Ltd will outline techniques for more accurately identifying risk levels and how to achieve an accurate & site-specific risk assessment which can be used to drive an effective remedial solution and manage environmental liabilities.

The importance of robust and detailed site investigation is further emphasised eiuyr with two presentations by David O’Hagan, Director, RSK Ireland Ltd and Marcus Ackermann, Remediation Manager, Dupont who will talk respectively about best practice field sampling and data analysis to develop an accurate and workable conceptual site model (CSM) and maximising the value of a CSM in designing and implementing an effective remedial solution.

Dealing with asbestos in soil continues to be a topical issue. Alan Jones, Consultant in Asbestos Risk & Measurement, Institute of Occupational Medicine and a member of the Joint Industry Working Group (JIWG) on asbestos in soils, will give an update on the work that has been done to establish “safe” guideline values for asbestos in soil and timescales for implementing these new guidelines.

The afternoon sessions of the conference are devoted to remediation and managing risks and environmental liabilities in order to maximise development opportunities. Dr Simon Johnson, Director, Environmental Services, AON will give advice on structuring development proposals effectively in order to minimise risk and increase the chances of securing funds and Michael Boyd, Director, WYG will present a case study of the Maze Long Kesh regeneration project, demonstrating how to successfully apply sustainable development principles to the risk assessment and remediation of a brownfield site.

When planning a re-development project it is often necessary to quantify the environmental, health, and social effects of contaminated land risk and build these into an effective decision and communication framework. Andrew Kibble, Operations Manager, CRCE Wales, Public Health England will share valuable techniques for engaging and working with all stakeholders involved in a project and effectively communicating risks.

By attending this conference, delegates will benefit from the opportunity to share best practice and discuss key issues with leading industry professionals. They will leave with practical solutions to minimise risk and optimise investment to maximise the value of brownfield and contaminated land.

Brownfield & Contaminated Land 2014: Practical Strategies to Effectively Assess & Manage Risk When Investigating & Developing Brownfield & Contaminated Land - 25th March 2014, Holiday Inn, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The conference is supported by RSK, Chemtest and the Ireland Brownfield Network

For more information and to register your place visit brownfield briefing website.

About the Organisers

Newzeye is a specialist business-to-business publisher in the built environment, property, regeneration and sustainability areas and has run over 120 conferences over the last ten years.

Brownfield Briefing provides news, comprehensive coverage, expert analysis and authoritative comment from key figures in the industry, along with the latest developments in brownfield, and contaminated land. For more information, go to

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