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A More Sustainable form of Soil Stabilisation?

Could biopolymers provide a more environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to traditional additives, such as cement, which have significant negative impacts on the environment. Significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) gases are emitted during the production of cement, which is also a process with a high energy demand. Biopolymers on the other hand are stable, carbon neutral and renewable.

Issue 527 of the EU, Science for Environment Policy paper states: “Soil stabilisation and the process of strengthening the physical properties of soil is fundamental to the construction process of infrastructure such as roads, runways and earth dams. Many chemical additives currently used in soil stabilisation are associated with adverse environmental effects and this study examines the use of biopolymers, such as xanthan gum and guar gum, as more sustainable alternatives. The researchers have run a series of laboratory experiments to evaluate the viability of these two types of biopolymers for use as additives for collapsible soil stabilisation, and found that both could be used in place of conventional additives to improve soil strength, permeability and collapse potential.”

This is something we will be following with interest.

Use of Potentially Contaminated Residential Land, Gardens and Allotments

Public Health England have produced guidance on managing risk on potentially contaminated residential land. This document is intended for local authorities to be used for the management of contaminated land issues, however it includes common sense advice of use to a home owner or allotment user who may have concerns about the possibility of above normal levels of contaminants in soil.

It gives public health advice on how to reduce exposure to chemical based soil contaminants.

Building on Enfield’s Green Belt Would do Little to Solve the Housing Shortage, Claim the CPRE

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says building on the green belt would only provide low-density housing that would not be classed as affordable.

Working with local bodies the CPRE says it has identified the potential for 37,000 homes on previously developed land thus removing the need to build on the green belt.

Enfield Council has proposed building on small segments of the green belt – which covers around a third of the borough – in a bid to more than triple the rate of housebuilding.

Alice Roberts of CPRE London said “The type of low-density housing which is typical of green belt developments will contribute little towards the borough’s housing target.” … “Building on Enfield’s green belt would mean giving up large swathes of valuable green land for very few new homes – and those will predominantly be expensive homes.”

The CPRE says the council should focus on building “high-quality, high-density” developments in areas like Southbury as a means of addressing the housing shortage.

More information can be found in the Enfield Independent