A 50 hectare area of Bridgwater, Somerset, once the site of the largest CellophaneTM -producing factory in the world, has been decommissioned and remediated in order to provide land for a wider consented development of 2,000 dwellings and 750,000 sq ft of commercial space. The site is one of three that EDF Energy is proposing for development with temporary accommodation for workers at the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project, prior to eventual handover for residential/commercial redevelopment.

Clarkebond were commissioned by the former site owners Innovia Films Limited, a global manufacturer of packaging films, to provide detailed remediation and industrial decommissioning and project management services. The project was driven by a programme fixed to the transfer of ownership to EDF Energy, commencing with detailed quantitative human health and groundwater risk assessments and a detailed remediation options appraisal and strategy. The legacy of heavy industrial usage of solvents (e.g. Carbon Disulphide), acids and alkalis, required development of a complex site investigation which was undertaken in tandem with sub-structure demolition. The investigation was designed to achieve maximum efficiency in the remediation process, to ultimately deliver a site fit for purpose. Emphasis was given to clear definition of hotspot areas prior to proceeding to soil and groundwater remediation.

In common with other industrial facilities of this era, the site contained significant quantities of asbestos-containing materials, both within the factory superstructure and below-ground, all of which were located for removal.

Following successful pre-commencement regulatory sign off, Clarkebond assisted the client with the appointment of a Principal Contractor to undertake the remediation and demolition works and thereafter managed the £multi-million contract for the delivery of remediation works, licensable asbestos removal works, and removal of slabs, foundations and significant underground structures.

Sub-structure demolition and remediation was complete within 12 months, including excavation of over 50,000 m3 of soil, with on-site treatment maximising the re-use within the permanent works. In addition, 70,000 m3 of demolition arising’s were crushed, validated and re-used across the site to raise the site level for future development, with the remainder used as engineered fill to 82,000m3 of voids.

Clarkebond’s Ground Engineering Associate Director André Gilleard commented that "Our extensive and specialist knowledge of contamination and of the contaminated land regulatory/planning system, enabled us to find commercially viable solutions that achieved the stringent safety levels necessary to secure regulatory sign off and handover to EDF Energy within the time scales required. This was at all times assisted through close collaboration between ourselves, Innovia and EDF Energy".