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The Avenue


The Avenue regeneration scheme is a £95 million, NEC2 Option C, remediation and landscaping project. It is the largest scheme currently being undertaken in the UK by the Homes and Communities Agency and is being delivered by VSD Avenue, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Sita Remediation and DEC.

The 98ha Avenue site was recognised as one of Europe's most contaminated sites, but despite this it is home to several rare species of flora and fauna and the selected remediation strategy had to include measures to protect or transfer and subsequently enhance the area to support these species in the future.

VSD conducted trials during the ECI phase and developed the final remediation strategy utilising a combination of the best technologies and skills available in the UK and Europe to bring the Avenue site back into beneficial use. The ECI works also included obtaining planning permission and all other statutory approvals including Licences for the operation of thermal desorption, bio-remediation and soil washing plants.

VSD  was awarded the main site contract by EMDA (now HCA) at the end of July 2009 and immediately commenced the construction of the bespoke thermal treatment plant which would treat the most heavily contaminated materials within the site and this was commissioned in October 2010. The plant was supplemented by the installation and commissioning of a bespoke water treatment plant. VSD Avenue uses a combination of thermal desorption, bio-remediation and complex sorting to remediate varying contaminants around the site.

VSD is also responsible for managing a number of key civil engineering requirements around site including: -

  • The design and construction of a large concrete culvert, wingwalls, trash screens and penstock on the flood alleviation scheme with the aim of stopping Chesterfield from flooding during future flash floods.
  • GHALivigunn designed an ACE award winning temporary cut off wall cofferdam and VSD constructed/filled it using site treated materials. This sustainable structure allowed VSD to safely excavate and treat the differing contaminated materials on either side of the wall and prevented the site from potential flooding.
  • VSD replaced numerous sewers and drains and constructed new and raised several existing manholes throughout the works.
  • VSD installed temporary and permanent roads, constructed and/or refurbished bridges and demolished a redundant railway bridge.
  • The team also completed the design and installation of river bank protection works including the protection/installation of kingfishers nesting boxes and water voles retreat sites along an existing length of the River Rother.

On completion the site will incorporate public open space and amenities including football and cricket pitches, a 70 hectare nature reserve with footpaths, wetland habitats and a 28 hectare housing and light industrial development area with opportunities for new roads and infra-structure which will create long term local employment opportunities.

Other Key items of work include the construction of a flood alleviation dam and SUDS scheme and the trans-location of numerous great crested newts, snakes, and water voles and the excavation and treatment of the following quantities: -

- 2,200,000m3 of earthworks

- 250,000 m3 of complex sorting

- 75,000m3 of bioremediation

- 300,000 m3 of thermal desorption

- 250,000 m3 of soil manufacture

The project started in 2009 and is scheduled for completion in late 2015.

Facts and figures

  • Client:
    The Homes and Communities Agency, HCA
  • Contract value:
    £86 million
  • Commencement date:
    August 2009
  • Due completion date
    July 2015
  • Project categories
    Remediation and regeneration