International Process Plants & Equipment has commissioned Ricardo Energy & Environment to restore a 30-acre brownfield land site in Bromborough, which could not be used due to high level risk of serious flooding. The restoration process involved the relocation of a local brook to its natural course. The reclaimed land will now be used for residential and commercial development.
International Process Plants & Equipment (IPP) was founded in 1978. The company’s business is to buy and sell process plants and power plants, process equipment and process systems, and industrial real estate. In addition, among a host of other services, the firm supports companies through demolition as well as clean-up and regeneration projects related to former industrial sites.
A 30-acre brownfield land site in Bromborough, situated on the banks of the Mersey Estuary, was formerly an industrial area. The site has since become an empty lot, unusable for productive purposes due to flood risk and contamination concerns. Recent analysis of the land found that contamination levels are relatively low, in addition, the research also highlighted that the site faces a serious risk of (fluvial) flooding.
IPP commissioned Ricardo Energy & Environment to develop a restoration scheme for the 30-acre site that tackles the issue of flooding. The consultancy firm found that the flooding risk stems from the early 20th century relocation of the Dibbensdale Brook, a local stream, from its natural course for use as a dock with access to the Mersey Estuary. Following a thorough investigation and close working relationship with the local Environment Agency, the firm was able to secure planning permission to restore the Dibbensdale Brook to its natural path, whereby the risk of flooding would be reduced to acceptable levels of threat.
The work itself involved removing an array of human lain river banks and infilled material, to realign the path of the brook; the firm reused much of the material to increase the ground level around the new path of the brook to create safe access routes and building footprints above the thresholds of a flooding event.
The land will now see further ecologically focused regeneration, as well as development. The site will be partly used for commercial and residential building projects, with £35 million in investment lined up. The new development is set to create up to 2,000 local jobs.
Tom Nash, Commercial Director at International Process Plants & Equipment, says, “The Bromborough site presented a range of unconventional challenges to restoration, so it is fantastic to have developed a solution that is effective and sustainable for the environment and the local community. The Ricardo Energy & Environment team were no small part of this success. By providing vital technical input to design and planning, the team has mapped a path to restoration, helping to turn ambitions for development and growth in the area into reality.”
Robert Hinks, Senior Consultant at Ricardo Energy & Environment, adds, “It was an honour to be part of the award winning project in Bromborough and to have helped prepare the land for redevelopment. Unlocking brownfield land is essential to meeting the UK’s housing and development needs, and it is important that this regenerative work is underpinned by the highest scientific rigour and commitment to environmental improvement. Our team prides itself on combining technical and regulatory expertise with close stakeholder engagement and open scientific communication. In this way we are able to provide developers, local authorities and communities the confidence they need to unlock land and support local regeneration.”