Dunton Environmental specialise in the design and implementation of ground and water remediation solutions for land restoration. Currently Dunton operates a treatment hub within a contaminated brownfield site in Wolverhampton City. Contaminated soil is brought to the site and treated, along with the contaminated soil already present on the hub site. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement between Dunton and Wolverhampton City Council where Dunton have full access and use of an operational site, and at the end of the lease, the City Council have a piece of land which has been remediated and is ready for housing development.
The current hub site is almost at the end of its lease, therefore, Dunton seek to find a similar contaminated brownfield site for their next hub.
Due to the strong relationship formed between Dunton and the Council, the hub would preferably remain in Wolverhampton, but considering the nature of the operation, it is important to follow certain criteria for site selection, including:
- Location – preferably industrial, away from residential developments
- Size of plot - Greater than 4 acres
- Previous land use – contaminated brownfield
There are currently 489 identified brownfield sites within Wolverhampton City Council so sifting through each of them is a lengthy task. Of the sites, many are inappropriate due to their size and their proximity to housing, and some are entirely occupied by derelict buildings. On top of that, each site will need to be investigated further for its previous land use, turning this into a seriously big job!
The BRIC team had a meeting with Dunton Environmental to discuss exactly what their requirements were for a new operational site. We discussed location types, contamination levels and the preferable size of the location.
Using a range of data sets, including the Brownfield register, historical maps, traffic data and planning application information, our GIS and programming specialist, Dr Noukhez Ahmed, set to work at finding suitable sites.
What did we do?
First we needed to find the correct data for the job at hand. We obtained the brownfield register from Wolverhampton City Council and the polygon/shape data for each individual site and with this information we were able to map the locations onto Google Earth using Arc GIS to show the shape and location of each of the sites.
With this overall picture of the locations available we could begin to drill down further, selecting ones which met the basic requirements.
From here we investigated further into the surrounding area, the previous land uses and the current planning permission status. Features such as the land statistics and planning permission status were added to each site providing clickable information. For each site identified, brownfield cluster sites within a 1 mile radius were also identified and displayed on the Google Earth platform (accessed via kmz file through Google Earth) to give an idea of serviceable sites in the local area.
Research & Innovation
The BRIC Project is committed to brownfield research and innovation and helping to regenerate the thousands of brownfield sites within the Black Country.
We are working on a Black Country Brownfield Database, which will provide automated site selection to our customers based on search criteria and algorithms. The database will include planning data, historical land use, soil and ground contaminants and scans for heritage buildings.
We hope this will be available for our customers from September 2020, but in the meantime, if you are interested in the brownfield database project or would like to learn more, please contact us!
We narrowed the search down to seven sites in total - five within the Wolverhampton local authority area, one in Dudley and one in Walsall.
Of the sites identified, the cluster maps show a corridor of brownfield sites within the central part of Wolverhampton from North to South, therefore, any hub location identified could easily serve the Wolverhampton area.
Two of the sites identified were most attractive to Dunton Environmental, and they were given the opportunity to make an educated decision based on the information we had provided to them.