Work to transform the former Avenue Coking Works in Wingerworth is underway.
Demolition and drainage work has already been carried out and now the second phase of the cleaning up of the site is in progress. The long term vision is to bring the polluted site back to life, bringing jobs, homes and enjoyment back to the community.
What is the Avenue project?
Who is involved in cleaning up the site?
What is the council's role in the clean up?
How will people living and working nearby be affected by the clean-up?
Smells and dust from the site
Review by the Health Protection Agency
When did the clean-up work start?
Why is the site so contaminated?
There is a chimney on site, what is it for?
Will the Homes and Communities Agency also be cleaning up Grassmoor Lagoons?
How can I get regular updates about the latest developments?
It is a four year project to clean up the contaminated land at the Avenue site in Wingerworth, and bring it back into use. The Avenue was originally a colliery, and later a coking plant and chemical works that closed in 1992. The site covers 242 acres – equivalent to 200 football pitches. The project aims to de-contaminate the land and provide high quality open spaces, nature conservation areas, leisure, housing and business facilities. The project also involves a flood prevention scheme.
The Avenue site is owned and managed by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) - having previously owned by East Midlands Development Agency (emda). It has contracted a company called VSD Avenue to clean up the site, along with Jacobs Environmental which is providing engineering advice, and Turner and Townsend which is managing the project.
The HCA is also working with organisations that regulate the clean-up operation. These include:
- Environment Agency; responsible for overseeing and enforcing the clean-up process of the site via an Environmental Permit which contains conditions protective of health and nuisance
- North East Derbyshire District Council; a consultee for human health and unresolved nuisance issues (such as noise or smells), and will deal with planning applications for the future development
- Chesterfield Borough Council; a consultee for nuisance issues and the clean up of the River Rother
- Derbyshire County Council; responsible for planning consent and implementation of the clean-up works
- Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust; responsible for public health
- Natural England; responsible for conservation and protection of wildlife
- Health & Safety Executive (HSE); responsible for site safety.
The HCA is also working with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust which manages the nature reserve at The Avenue, and the Land Restoration Trust which will manage the public open space on behalf of the HCA once the clean up is finished.
The council isn’t the lead organisation in this project and all initial enquiries or concerns should be made to the HCA at the Avenue site. If nuisance problems (such as noise, dust and smells) haven’t been resolved, people can contact us to take the matter up on their behalf. We will also deal with any planning applications for future development of the site.
The HCA has employed a specialist team to investigate and monitor complaints arising from the clean-up operations and will provide a rapid response service to all enquires. This may involve a visit to the property to assess the problem if necessary. The HCA already undertake routine on-site and off-site monitoring to comply with the limits contained within the Environmental Permit and detect trends. The HCA work flexibly and are able to adjust their working methods when necessary to minimise the impact of their site operations on the local community.
There will be traffic and machinery movements during the clean up, but the HCA will ensure disruption will be minimised. Unfortunately there will be some noise, including at night and weekends. We have agreed appropriate noise levels for site operations to reduce the impact on local people.
From time to time there may be odours and dust from the site due to the remediation work, which is being carried out by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). If you are troubled by the smells or if you have a question, comment or concern about the work taking place, there are a number of ways to contact the HCA project team:
Phone: 01246 554580 (this has a dedicated answer phone service so people can leave a message if they call outside of normal working hours).
Write to or visit the site office: The Avenue, Derby Road, Wingerworth, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S42 6NB. If visiting it is best to try to make an appointment so you can meet the correct people.
Contact the Environment Agency
Phone: 08708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
Pollution incident hotline: 0800 807060
At the request of the Environment Agency (which regulates remediation works at the Avenue), the Health Protection Agency has reviewed the air quality monitoring data for the clean-up of the site.
The review involved taking readings from fixed monitoring positions around the site between September 2010 and December 2011.
The Health Protection Agency has concluded that the on-going remediation is very unlikely to cause any health effects in the local population - their full statement can be seen here.
Trials have been taking place on site since 2000; the main works began in September 2009 and will last for four and a half years. The HCA then hope to have developers lined up to come on site and start building (subject to planning permission) some new homes and business units.
Decades of coke and chemical production have left parts of the site heavily contaminated. Over 90 per cent of the contamination is a result of the disposal of industrial waste on the site by former operators British Coal. Although the tip was licensed, the standards are far below what would be acceptable today. If the contamination on site was allowed to continue polluting the River Rother, then the council would be required to use its formal powers to require the HCA to clean up the site.
A thermal treatment process is being used to treat some of the contaminated soil, and the chimney is needed to safely remove the filtered emissions (such as steam and carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere. These emissions are regulated by the Environment Agency via an Environmental Permit. The equipment will be removed when the clean up has finished.
No, this is part of a separate project run by Derbyshire County Council, contact ‘Call Derbyshire’ on the number below for more details.
There are many ways people can find out more:
- Visit www.theavenueproject.co.uk for the latest news and progress reports
- Come along to one of the HCA's roadshows or events
- Speak to a Community Representatives (details on the website)
- Link into the technical liaison group where members of the public are able to meet with project team members to find out more about specific site activities;
- Keep an eye out for newsletters which are circulated to houses around the site, and to key community venues such as parish halls, libraries and community centres. Stories are also sent to WINGS magazine, local newspapers (e.g. Derbyshire Times) and radio stations (e.g. BBC Radio Sheffield), and link in with local authorities / parish councils.
If you would like more detailed information about the clean-up of the Avenue site, please see the Question and Answer sheet on the Avenue project website. You can also contact them on the details below.
For all the latest news about the project, view the Avenue newsletter online.