The Greenwich Peninsula defines one of the most recognisable aerial landmarks of the capital. Holding a history of nationally significant industry, the redevelopment of this area boasts a great success story for the regeneration of former brownfield land within London and serves as an archetypal example of the dynamic and changing nature of city use.
This comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment includes residential units, retail floorspace, hotels, offices, education and health care facilities, a film and media hub, visitor attractions, car parking, cycle parking, community facilities, a new transport hub, jetty terminal, running track and a wide range of public realm and open space.
RPS has been advising on the redevelopment of Greenwich Peninsula since 2005 providing a variety of environmental, transport and planning services including input to the masterplan and supporting both outline and reserved matters planning applications for individual plots and development zones.
This has included the coordination and management of two full Environmental Statements and numerous Environmental Compliance Reports (ECRs) as well as providing various technical environmental assessment services. As part of the work we were commissioned to carry out geo-environmental investigation and assessment for the redevelopment of the Riverside and Central East areas of the Peninsula.
London Borough of Greenwich
Greenwich Peninsula is a former industrial site which was once occupied by a gasworks, chemical and asbestos factories. The land was therefore heavily contaminated and was only partially remediated in the 1990s to facilitate the construction of the Millennium Dome (now the O2). The Peninsula is also known for the complexity of its ground conditions, which host both known and likely unrecorded geotechnical hazards
It lies adjacent to several operational wharves, the busy A102 and Blackwall Tunnels and North Greenwich Underground Station. It is also transected by various critical infrastructure including the Emirate Air cable car and the safeguarded zone for the new Silvertown Crossing (tunnel) and falls within an area of high archaeological potential, the flood plain of the River Thames, an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and the flight path of London City Airport to the east.
Due consideration also had to be given to the presence of the Jubilee Underground Line running beneath the site and potential for the presence of unexploded ordnance from bombing during World War II.
The development of the site therefore faces various physical and environmental challenges which have had to be thoroughly assessed and mitigated for as part of the ongoing masterplanning and EIA processes.
Due to the dynamic nature of the environment of the Peninsula (e.g. noise and air quality) combined with incremental changes made to the original 2004 masterplan in order to adjust to the changing economic climate and market demand, RPS has been involved in a continuous process of environmental assessment for many years - advising both Knight Dragon and the former owners of the site on a succession of detailed ‘drop-in’ and reserved matters planning applications. In doing so we have worked alongside different design teams to optimise the sustainability credentials of individual development schemes and to develop mitigation measures to avoid adverse environmental effects.
As each new plot has come forward we have assessed the scheme against the outline parameters of the original outline planning permission and EIA and have updated the baseline environmental information through surveys, modelling and physical investigation. In addition, we developed a novel approach and template for an ‘Environmental Compliance Report’ which we have prepared in support of over 10 successful planning applications from 2009 to 2017.
The ground investigation was tailored to assess potential risks to future occupiers and the environment, including the Chalk aquifer at depth, from any existing soil and groundwater contamination beneath the site. RPS provided interpretative assessment of the soil and groundwater data obtained as part of the investigation with recommendations provided for remedial works, where necessary. Soil gas concentrations were also assessed to determine whether any protective measures would need to be engineered into the proposed development.
With structures up to 33 storeys in height proposed, we were also responsible for carrying out geotechnical assessment, with data obtained using both in situ testing (including pressuremeter testing) and ex situ laboratory methods. We provided detailed geotechnical evaluation of this data to inform the detailed design.
The investigation also included facilitating the monitoring of vibrations from the underlying Jubilee Underground Line to determine potential influence on foundations at depth.
To date, RPS has designed and managed ground investigations across the Peninsula incorporating the drilling of over 70 boreholes to depths of up to 60m below ground level, the installation of over 60 monitoring wells and the excavation of more than 40 trial pits and trial trenches.
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