Lace House, a detached office building occupied the entire site with the proposal to be converted to residential. Access is by a double width timber doorway set within an impressive stone entrance portico.
The building is constructed in rendered masonry with feature margins and cornicing to the north and east elevations and a timber mansard roof.
Concerns had been raised about potential underground tanks on site due to the former use as a car showroom. To address this issue and any other potential risk due to contamination a pre-sale report was commissioned.
The site was visited, the petroleum officer’s report obtained and a final draft issued for the client’s comment within two weeks of instruction..
There were concerns about possible contamination of the site by hydrocarbons from the adjacent vehicle repair workshop.
In order to comply with the tight timescale we:
dug trial pits,
installed boreholes with gas monitors,
collected and tested contamination samples
and issued our report less than one week after receipt of instruction.
This scheme involved the development of 58 units of one and two bedroom flats with the provision of two disabled units, all timber frame construction. Thirty-one of the units are for shared ownership with the balance being for affordable general needs housing.
Demolition of the public house which had occupied the site had been undertaken and a spoil bund placed around the site perimeter, subsequently fly tipping had occurred.
A review of the original site investigation showed that there was contamination of the site with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. An initial site visit identified the presence of asbestos fragments and also Japanese Knotweed.
Testing was undertaken across the site to determine the extent of soil contamination and thereby minimise the amount of material removed to landfill. A thorough survey of Japanese Knotweed on site was undertaken, it was established that this was located in the spoil bund and the contaminated stretches were identified and removed to landfill, timescales did not permit on site treatment. Verification testing was undertaken and after sampling the imported topsoil a concluding verification report was prepared confirming the suitability of the site for the proposed use.
The scheme was handed over on 24 July 2006 and subsequently won ‘Housing Project of the Year’ by Builder and Engineering Magazine.