Remediation of former Waste Management sites at the historic Hickson and Welch Chemical Manufacture Site, Castleford, Yorkshire, UK

The Hickson and Welch site was a chemical manufacturing site opened in 1931 and produced a wide range of chemicals up until its closure in 2005. During its lifetime, it operated two private, chemical waste landfills, and one chemical drum storage area, which, since the site closed, have been identified as contaminated land sites. These contaminated land sites are adjacent to the River Aire, and are within a 100 year flood zone.

The site has been investigated by many other consultancies in the past, however, no-one had been able to propose a feasible and cost-effective remedial solution.

NewFields began by compiling the data from the previous site investigations into a single database and geographic information system (GIS).  This allowed all the stakeholders to fully understand the site, identify the data gaps, obtain a clear picture of the risks of the site and what needed to be achieved to close the sites. We developed a strategic plan and remedy which satisfied the business needs of both the client who was responsible for the contaminated land impacts and the current property owner.  The remedial strategy was approved by the Environment Agency and Wakefield Council.

NewFields was then asked to design the remediation method for the three waste management areas which comprised a series of three impermeable clay caps with geosynthetic liners and associated surface water drainage features. We obtained planning permission for the design on behalf of our client, which involved compiling and managing several studies/plans, including a flood risk assessment for the site.

NewFields was then asked to produce a bid document for the project and identify and invite suitable contractors to tender for. We reviewed these tenders and advised our client on the best options for construction. We then over-saw construction to ensure that it followed our design, provided some in-house CQA for the construction and ensure that our client’s needs were consistently taken care of.

NewFields professional, data focused and client focused approach to projects has meant that we have successfully planned and implemented a sustainable, effective method of reducing the risks for the client. The client saved approximately £10 million compared to previous cost-estimates by other consultants.