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Wednesday, 05 February


Registration & Refreshments


Opening Remarks from the Chair

Contaminated Land & Groundwater Risk Assessment


Developing a Pragmatic and Appropriate Groundwater Risk Assessment Strategy that Meets Regulatory Requirements and Avoids Unnecessary Remediation

  • Identifying specific information requirements from the outset to make risk assessment an integral part of the remediation process 

  • Moving from a risk-based to a cost-benefit approach to groundwater risk assessment and managing this in-line with regulatory requirements 

  • Exploring advances in data collection and modelling techniques to get more meaningful results from your SI and DQRA data and improve decision-making

  • Practically applying current guidance to develop robust, justified groundwater risk assessment and remediation targets




Morning Refreshments and Networking



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 

  • Update on the current status of the new Scottish Planning Bill and the next steps in implementing planning reform:

  • identifying key challenges and possible solutions to overcome them 

  • Examining the future direction in developing a revised National Planning Framework and ‘NPF4’

  • Clarifying the role of brownfield in Local Development (LDP) and Local Place Plans (LPP)

  • what safeguards will be put in place to effectively deal with contaminated land?

  • how can enforcement of planning conditions be better monitored and verified?

  • what further steps are needed to “unlock” and facilitate development of viable land?


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


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 


B. Selecting the Most Appropriate Laboratory Analysis for Different Contaminants to Achieve Optimum Cost-Efficiency
Sponsored by i2 Analytical


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


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


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