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Jacobs completes coalfield restoration work

Jacobs has completed the clean-up of heavily polluted industrial land in Chesterfield.

Working for Homes England (formerly Homes and Communities Agency), Jacobs has successfully completed restoration of heavily polluted industrial land at the former coalfield Avenue Coking Works near Chesterfield in the East Midlands.

The 19-year restoration programme has transformed 98ha of land that will bring environmental, social and economic benefits and resiliency, as well as provide new and enhanced habitats for wildlife along with opportunities for community and residential development.

Jacobs has provided technical services to support the project since 1999, from conceptual design, ground investigation, risk assessment, draindown and demolition strategy, to environmental management, bioremediation and water treatment.

Public open space covers 70ha and incorporates sustainable drainage systems, recreational facilities, multi-user trails connecting to local cycle networks, woodlands, reedbeds and a flood alleviation dam. Restoration of the river and its floodplain provide habitat for wildlife while enhancing flood storage capacity benefiting 1000 homes in Chesterfield.

Jacobs buildings and infrastructure Europe senior vice president and general manager Donald Morrison said: “This program has taken nearly two decades of meticulous planning and execution with Homes England and their partners to restore one of Europe’s most complex remediation sites into an area that can be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

“The scale of the change at the site continues to amaze people when they visit and we take significant pride in sharing the history of the project and the technical innovations which have brought it to this stage.”

Remediation of contaminated materials used techniques such as ex-situ bioremediation, screening and soil washing, as well as thermal desorption – using a bespoke plant designed specifically for this project. The environmental management plan included close monitoring and management of air-quality, water, ecological and biodiversity impacts.

avenue coking works

avenue coking works

Before and after photos showing the restoration

Advance habitat creation works were undertaken to provide suitable alternative areas for translocation of some 8,000 newts, 250 water voles and other species.

The former Avenue Coking Works is one of 52 coalfield assets managed by Homes England, under its Land and Regeneration portfolio, on behalf of the government.

The project has received the CEEQUAL Excellent Whole Project Final Award for its remediation approach.

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