EPUK Release a Guide to Redeveloping Petrol Filling Stations

This timely document is entitled Before You Dig, Garages & Petrol Stations, Guidance for Developers, EPUK. David Rudland et al.

EPUK say “This guide has been produced now because we anticipate alternative fuels will make many of the 8500 retail forecourts in the UK surplus over the next 5-10 years or so. Repurposing this kind of brownfield site presents particular challenges of the sort that drive some developers to seek greenfield sites instead.

The guide describes how petrol stations were constructed, operated, and decommissioned, outlining particular issues around decontamination and signposting towards further guidance. Tips for good practice and case studies appear throughout.

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.

Can you sue your neighbour over Japanese knotweed?

Well the short answer is yes. On 3 July 2018 the Court of Appeal upheld the decision against Network Rail for “private nuisance” due to Japanese Knotweed. You can find the details in this article on the Thomson Snell & Passmore website.

While we do not undertake Japanese Knotweed remediation we do assist clients with advice on suitable remedial methods and obtaining and adjudicating on tenders.

Minimising Remediation Costs

The cost of intrusive investigations and monitoring can seem high but are often small beer when compared to additional muck-away or other remedial measures. Qualitative monitoring with a photoionization detector or PID had proven inconclusive at a project in Hammersmith & Fulham. However quantitative monitoring for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)   enabled the client to avoid the expense and possible delay of installing a VOC vapour membrane within an existing building.