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Bow Common Gasworks

The client:St William Homes LLP (Berkely Group)
Services:Services & UXO clearance, Dewatering, Groundwater treatment & discharge, Obstruction, tank and foundation removal, Gasholder base decommissioning, Contamination hotspot remediation, Cement stabilisation, Soil reuse under DoWCoP, Aggregate production under Quality Protocol, Permanent SuDS and drainage installation, Pile mat construction, Piling attendance
Duration:October 2022 to June 2023

The Challenge:

Cognition Land and Water was commissioned by St William Homes to undertake contamination remediation, ground obstruction removal, materials management, earthworks, pile mat construction and associated groundworks to support the proposed redevelopment of the former Bow Common Gasworks at 120 Bow Common Lane, London.  A mixed-use, residential-led development is proposed at the site comprising five development phases resulting in 1,450 new homes, leisure facilities, associated infrastructure and landscaped public open spaces.

The Bow Common Gasworks Site is 3.86ha (9.7 acres) and located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.  The site is bound on three sides by medium to high density residential housing and to the west by a Network Rail elevated viaduct with Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park beyond.  The Site was used for the production and storage of town gas from 1851 until the 1960s, prior to it decommissioning and sale for redevelopment by National Grid.

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The Approach

Cognition’s approach to the works was to minimise disposal and maximise reuse of excavated soils and demolition at the site.  Key to this was engagement with the Environment Agency to enable soil reuse under a DoWCoP MMP and production of recycled aggregates under the EA Quality Protocol.  The site team’s early engagement with the regulator enabled the works to be programmed and sequenced with confidence that the source and final location of all material required was known from the outset.  This was especially important given the phasing requirement within the confines of the site.  The careful early engagement and coordination was translated into a detailed material management plan (MMP), which was used in conjunction with the Remediation Implementation Plan (RIP) to ensure full traceability of all materials remediated, processed and reused at the site.

The scope of works included:

  • UXO Survey prior to commencing works
  • Installation of temporary haul roads
  • Demolition and removal of ground obstructions, tanks and concrete hardstanding
  • Bulk earthworks including level reduction, site remodelling and reprofiling, and remediation
  • Removal of gasholder walls and reprofiling of dumplings
  • Construction of site wide infrastructure and drainage
  • Construction of piling platforms (including within gasholders)
  • Environmental monitoring and management
  • Crushing, screening and processing of arisings for reuse
  • Remediation including soil processing and cement stabilisation works was carried out with reuse of soil under DoWCoP MMP and material produced onsite in accordance with the EA Quality Protocol.

The Outcome

The remediation, earthworks and infrastructure works were completed to time and budget with platform areas handed over for follow-on works with all verification reporting completed to enable the client to discharge the necessary planning conditions.  Throughout the works, all stakeholders were fully engaged and informed, including local residents.

Over 60,000m3 of material was remediated, processed and reused on site with over 98% reusage rate.  The site was regularly audited by regulators and client representatives who were impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the Cognition team in all areas of technical, quality and safety compliance.

“The Bow Common site is one of the best I have visited, being managed very well.  We were really pleased to hear about all of the proactive engagement that has been carried out with local residents.  If all future sites at this stage are presented and managed the same, we will be very pleased.” - Environment Agency inspector

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