The UK government has renewed its call for new homes to be built on previously used and derelict land.
Chancellor George Osborne has called for 200 000 new homes to be built by 2020 by accelerating the development of disused industrial sites. He announced a fund of up to £500 million to assist local councils to pre-approve planning permission for over 90% of suitable brownfield sites by 2020. Developers will be able to apply directly to central government if local councils have not done enough to remove planning obstacles on brownfield sites. Meanwhile Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, has said that the best way to tackle the country’s housing shortage is to ‘use brownfield better’.
The new emphasis on using brownfield land has been welcomed by Britpave, the infrastructure group, as it will boost the use of soil stabilisation over inefficient and environmentally questionable ‘dig and dump’.
By its very nature, brownfield land is often more difficult to use than greenfield sites, particularly if the site has been contaminated by previous industrial use. The traditional approach to this has been to simply dig up the problem soil and dump it elsewhere. This is not the most sustainable or cost effective approach. “A far better approach is to use soil stabilisation and solidification to deal with the problem on site,” explained Al McDermid, Chair of Britpave Soil Stabilisation Task Group.
Using cementitious binding materials such as cement, lime, flyash or ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) renders potential contaminants immobile and unleachable. Stabilisation of the soil treats the contaminants to produce a soil that is less toxic. Solidification improves the physical properties of the stabilised soil to provide a strong engineered construction material.
“Insitu remediation and improvement of poor quality brownfield land using cementitious materials removes the cost of lorry movements, landfill taxes and importation of virgin aggregate. It also has a significantly reduced environmental impact,” said McDermid, adding: “Soil stabilisation/solidification is a most effective way to bring brownfield land back into productive use and so help to provide the land needed to increase the country’s housing supply.”
Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/19062014/uk_government_calls_for_better_use_of_brownfield_sites_381/