Brownfield Land Scotland 2020

05 February 2020 | Edinburgh

The Conference

One day of insightful presentations and case studies
05 February 2020

This highly popular annual event will update you on the current planning and regulatory backdrop for brownfield land development in Scotland, as well as providing practical solutions to many of the current challenges faced when risk assessing and remediating contaminated and derelict land. 

The conference will bring together contaminated land officers and environmental health officers in local councils, regulatory agencies, brownfield consultants and contractors for one information-packed day, with a topical programme, Q&A sessions and exclusive debate and networking opportunities. 


Why attend?

Be informed and inspired

You will get practical advice from a range of specialist presentations, including insight into new strategies, innovations and techniques to tackle your most pressing challenges faced when risk assessing and remediating contaminated and derelict land in Scotland.

Share and engage

Find out what your competitors and peers are doing, not doing, contemplating and committing to. Meet and mingle with over 100 professionals in your sector. Whether you want to have a 1-on-1 with a speaker, raise your profile, attract new clients or simply catch up with peers, Brownfield Land Scotland 2020 provides invaluable networking and knowledge sharing opportunities.

Hear current thinking

Written by you, for you; this programme has been written based on research with local authorities and consultants across Scotland to ensure it focuses specifically on those issues most pertinent to you now.

Panel discussion

Hear first hand from a range of expert speakers. Put your questions forward to the panel.

Time efficiency and focus 

Remove yourself from day to day distractions and benefit from a series of focused presentations, designed to tackle key issues and impart practical advice and guidance.

Who should attend?

  • Contaminated Land Officers

  • Contaminated Land Specialists

  • Managing Directors

  • Operations Directors

  • Regional Directors

  • Environmental Engineers

  • Environmental Officers

  • Environmental Consultants

  • Environmental Health Officers

  • Principal Consultants

  • Policy and Communications Officers

  • Geologists

  • Environmental Scientists


Practicalities of Quantitative Water Environment Risk Assessment

  • Signposting the Key guidance documents

  • The importance of characterisation and conceptualisation – The key elements and what a DQRA can and cannot do.

  • Challenges in developing robust and achievable remediation target concentrations

  • Practicalities in reducing uncertainty and refining risk assessment outcomes

    • Derivation of site-specific degradation rates

    • Understanding actual leachate concentrations compared to predicted leachate concentrations

    • Evaluating the risk for non-degrading contaminants

Duncan Cartwright, Associate Director, Atkins



Wednesday, 05 February


Registration & Refreshments


Contaminated Land & Groundwater Risk Assessment


Demonstrating the Importance of Verification in a Brownfield Redevelopment Project: A Regulator’s Perspective

  • The role of the Local Authority in “signing-off” a strategy - the importance of timing

  • Detailing the aspects of a remediation and redevelopment project that need verification

  • Outlining common problems encountered and solutions to overcome these

  • Exploring how local authorities, consultants, developers and other stakeholders can work together to facilitate the SI-remediation-verification process

Sarah Hamill, Contaminated Land Officer, West Dunbartonshire Council

Optimising the Viability and Deliverability of Brownfield Land in Development 


Examining the Latest Revisions to the Scottish Planning Framework and the Implications for Brownfield & Contaminated Land Development 

  • Examining the current status of the new Scottish Planning Act and likely next steps in implementing planning reform: key challenges and possible solutions to overcome them 

  • Exploring likely future direction in the development of a revised National Planning Framework (NPF4)

  • Assessing the role of brownfield in Local Development (LDP) and Local Place Plans (LPP) and what further steps are needed to “unlock” and facilitate development of viable land


Gordon Thomson, Associate Director, Lichfields​


Transforming Scotland’s Vacant and Derelict Land - Update from the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce

There are nearly 11,000 hectares of vacant and derelict land in Scotland. Much of it in some of our most deprived communities, resulting in real impacts on people’s quality of life. A register of disused property was set up 30 years ago and many great projects have re-used land productively, but the total area has barely changed. 

Transforming vacant and derelict sites opens up opportunities to promote inclusive growth and greater wellbeing, while tackling climate change. Set up in 2018 by the Scottish Land Commission and SEPA, the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce is challenging all sectors in Scotland to help bring land back into productive use and prevent future sites from being abandoned.  The taskforce is providing the national co-ordination to create the focus and changes needed. Underpinning the work of the taskforce is a programme of research and analysis to help better understand the nature of the challenge, identify potential changes to policy and practice, share experience of successful projects. Alison will give a brief summary of some of this research completed to date.  #notsoprettyvacant

Alison McKay, Partner, Leapmoor LLP & Member, Scottish Vacant & Derelict
Land Taskforce


Audience Discussion: Working Together to Bring Brownfield Land Back into Use

The presentations will be followed by an audience and panel discussion exploring the challenges faced by environmental health & contaminated land officers in their role in the planning & remediation process. Delegates are encouraged to ask questions and share their own views on how these could be better managed.

Networking Lunch




Examining the Risk of Carbon Dioxide Arising from Disused Mineral Mines and the Implications: Recent Findings

RSK was appointed by the Scottish Government to carry out a research project into the prevalence of CO2 from disused mineral mines and the resulting risk to residential buildings, which was published recently. This talk will cover:  

  • Introduction and context to the project

  • The Gorebridge incident and other identified incidents of mine related CO2 emissions

  • The nature of abandoned mine-workings and circumstances where risks related to CO2 emissions are raised  

  • The role of groundwater rise, climate change and low barometric pressure

  • Pros and cons of mandatory mitigation measures versus a robust risk based approach to planning and development

  • Report recommendations including proposed changes to Scottish Planning and Building Standards and guidance and further research requirements


Afternoon Refreshments & Networking


Roundtable Feedback

Each break-out session facilitator will briefly share the key learning points from their discussion with the audience.

Regional Case Studies


Case Study: Overcoming the Challenges of Delivering a Large Complex Remediation & Redevelopment Project

  • Examining the site history and the need for remediation / redevelopment

  • Overview of the remediation design stages and how the various multi-disciplinary challenges were overcome

  • Overcoming the challenges of a multi-objective ground investigation in a publicly accessible tidal environment

  • Overview of the agreed detailed remediation design

David Gemmell, Technical Director, AECOM Scotland

Russell Old, Senior Geo-Environmental Engineer, AECOM Scotland (Edinburgh)


UKGEOS Project: Measuring and Monitoring the Earth’s Subsurface in Glasgow

Presenting the first phase of work developing a Geothermal Energy Research Field Site in Glasgow. A network of 12 boreholes are being drilled to understand how warm water moves around the abandoned mine workings over time and, through baseline and on-going monitoring, observe changes in the chemistry, physical and microbiological properties of the environment just below the surface to around 200 metres in depth.. 
This data will help us to better understand UK geothermal resources and their potential exploitation, as well as facilitate on-going research and innovation.

Hugh Barron, Business Manager, Scotland, British Geological Survey

Closing Remarks from the Chair


Close of Conference followed by a Networking Drinks Reception


Managing Coal Mining Legacy in Scotland & Effectively Evaluating the Risks

  • An introduction to The Coal Authority – who we are, what we do and what’s new

  • Examining what mining legacy impact looks like in Scotland

  • Understanding the importance of evaluating coal mining risks correctly

  • Outlining how The Coal Authority can help manage mining legacy for effective brownfield development

Helen Bennett, Technical Team Leader, Commercial Reports Team, The Coal Authority

Clare Tasker, Client Services Account Manager, The Coal Authority 


Interactive Break-Out Session

These focused, interactive sessions give you the opportunity to discuss a key topic of interest to you in a more participative format. Each session will be led by a facilitator who will lead the discussion and encourage maximum debate and sharing of ideas. Choose one topic.

A. Developing Effective Risk Communication Strategies & Improving Community & Stakeholder Engagement 

Dr Colin N Ramsay, Consultant Epidemiologist, Environmental Public Health, Health Protection Scotland


B. Selecting the Most Appropriate Laboratory Analysis for Different Contaminants
to Achieve Optimum Cost-Efficiency

Dr Claire Stone, Quality Manager, i2 Analytical​

Sponsored by i2 Analytical


C. Waste Management: Developing Effective MMPs to Achieve Efficient & Compliant
Re-Use of Material on Site

Danny Hope, Regional Director, Hydrock


D. Improving the Quality of Contaminated Land Reports to Increase Confidence in
Risk Assessment & Remediation Proposals

Alex Lee, Technical Director, WSP

E. GWSDAT: A Tool for Analysing Groundwater Quality Data and Contamination Plumes to Achieve Optimum Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation 
Prof Adrian Bowman, Professor of Statistics, University of Glasgow


F. Ground Gas: New Approaches to Ground Gas Risk Assessment & Appropriate Monitoring & Verification

Matt Askin, Senior Geo-Environmental Consultant, Ground Gas Solutions (GGS)

Sponsored by GGS


G. “What does the Next Generation Brownfield Professional Look Like?”  Determining
the right balance of skills required to work effectively in a changing industry sector 

Dr Tom Henman, Director - Geosciences, RSK

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"A good opportunity to network and socialise with the contacts in the industry"


Exhibitors and Sponsors

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This year's conference takes place at the  Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel.

5-21 Grosvenor St,

EH12 5EF

For more details on the venue click here.

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