Retail Park, Coventry

Innovative gas works remediation

The Project
As part of Coventry City Council’s extensive city-wide regeneration programme, Pinnacle was instructed to provide pre-development and structural engineering services for a major retail park on the prestigious Coventry City Football Club leisure/retail site. This was located on the redundant and highly contaminated Foleshill Gasworks site on the Northern edge of the city. In addition to the football stadium, the leisure/retail park was to include a 140,000ft2 flagship Tesco store with PFS, 15 retail kiosks totalling 20,000ft2, 4 units of 60,000ft2 total and a fast food restaurant.

The Gasworks Site
Development of the former gasworks site faced a £20M remediation budget hurdle which looked likely to halt the project.

Remediation Considerations
The Client was prepared to meet the upfront costs of remediation and highways access as part of land sale obligations. On review of the available documentation Pinnacle were convinced that the budget cost associated with the level of remediation risks, assumed by the earlier Local Authority environmental team, were overly cautious and warranted further considered investigation.

Value Engineering
Pinnacle has a proven track record in brownfield site environmental value engineering and set about reviewing the Ph2 reports, proposed methodology and associated cost estimates to understand what could be achieved to bring budgets down to a commercially viable level. An alternative environmental consultant was instructed to review the site from a different perspective, adopting a more aggressive approach to the earlier remediation methodology. The associated budgets were radically re-thought and a pragmatic, sustainable, methodology developed that, initially, resulted in a realistically conservative budget reduction to £10M.

Targeted Investigations
A further round of targeted investigation was funded and budget costs were increasingly refined downwards. The reduced costs also included clearance of all below ground obstructions within the retail park, removal of targeted hot spots and pre-excavating all retail building footprints to ensure the site was clear of obstructions in advance of construction commencement.

Pinnacle’s Solution
Pinnacle had the trust of its Client to adopt the project management role in procuring pre-development remediation, levelling and preparation of the site. For an agreed ‘not to exceed’ budget of £4M, Pinnacle delivered the completed construction phase remediation, all aligned with the Environmental Agency approved Quantitative Risk Assessment.

In the event, contamination of the site was at the better end of the risk spectrum and achieved at an outturn cost of £2.35M including pre- excavation below all planned building footprints to a depth of at least 1.5m. This removed all obstructions and hot spot contamination allowing a cost effective traditional pad foundation solution to found the retail park development.

All completed in advance of risk free Main Contract tender pricing, under budget and allowing an on programme start on site.