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Brownfield land can provide opportunities for urban regeneration and sustainable development, while reducing pressure on greenfield land. Adeptus provides a range of expertise and services to assist the holders and developers of brownfield land in bringing sites back into beneficial use.
The aspect with typically the greatest potential to impact the viability of brownfield development projects is the actual or perceived risk of contaminated land. Although the majority of our work continues to be in the assessment and management of contamination, we also provide expertise in a number of related areas which are often crucial in enabling sustainable brownfield redevelopment.
Where a brownfield site has been partially reclaimed by nature, developers can also encounter issues aroundwildlife, ecology and habitats present. It is also relatively common for parts of a site or adjacent land to become designated or selected for nature conservation, such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Local Wildlife Sites, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Ramsar sites. Brownfield sites can also present unique challenges in relation flood risk and drainage arrangements, and particularly sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).
Sustainable development has been defined as that which ‘meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. The redevelopment of redundant or underutilised brownfield sites may be regarded as a highly sustainable form of development. Remediation of contaminated soil and waters produces significant sustainability benefits, not least in the protection of crucial water resources and restoration of soil health.
Remediation itself can be designed with sustainability in mind, and sustainable remediation has been defined as the application of the principles of sustainable development, to risk based contaminated land management. The rationale for sustainable remediation remains based on risk assessment and therefore fitness for use; however, to be considered sustainable, risk management measures undertaken must not place unreasonable demands on the environment, economy or society, in the long or short term.
The main sustainability issues related to remediation are considered to be the economic, social and environmental consequences of the activities. With this in mind sustainable remediation has also been defined as ‘the practice of demonstrating, in terms of environmental, economic and social indicators, that the benefit of undertaking remediation is greater than its impact, and that the optimum remediation solution is selected through the use of a balanced decision-making process’.
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