1. Registration and Refreshments

  2. Welcome from the University of Wolverhampton

    Prof Jackie Dunne Prof Jackie Dunne
    Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton
  3. Opening Remarks from the Chair

    Prof Chaminda Pathirage Prof Chaminda Pathirage
    Professor of Brownfield Research & Innovation, University of Wolverhampton
  4. Making Land Available for Development - Facilitating the Viability and Delivery of Brownfield and Contaminated Sites

    • Detailing how strategic sites are identified to bring forward for regeneration
      • at what point is land quality considered?
    • Exploring sources of funding to make land viable for development
    Patricia Willoughby Patricia Willoughby
    Head of Policy - Housing and Regeneration, West Midlands Combined Authority

    Delivering Brownfield Land Development Within Planning Policy Frameworks

  6. Examining the Extent to which Changes to Planning Policy Frameworks are Facilitating Brownfield Development

    • Evaluating the changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF2) and the extent to which they support brownfield development:
      • viability assessments and the Existing Use Value Plus approach
      • housing delivery tests
      • to what extent is Section 11: making effective use of land which encourages better use of brownfield land effective and how?
    • Examining the changes to pre-commencement conditions The Town and Country Planning (Pre-commencement Conditions) Regulations 2018 and the implications for how contaminated land is managed through the planning process:
      • how can consistency be achieved across regions with regards to planning and pre-commencement conditions?


    Ian Mercer Ian Mercer
    Partner and Head of Development, Bruton Knowles
  7. Morning Refreshments & Networking


    Solutions to Increase Viability & Deliverability of Challenging Brownfield & Contaminated Sites

  9. The BRIC Index: Better Determining the Cost-Benefits of Redeveloping a Brownfield Site

    The Brownfield Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC), an ERDF supported project, established to address the issue of lack of redevelopment of brownfield sites across the Black Country is developing the BRIC Index. At the heart of this work is the development of comprehensive GIS based brownfield register that brings together information on ownership, planning permissions and restrictions, previous land-use, contamination, geology, soil, water table, access to utilities and roads, remediation methodologies, the possible costs of bringing a site back into use and innovative approaches to allow sites to become useful again. By making use of virtual and augmented reality to allow information to be accessed in a user-friendly way, the BRIC index will enable predictions to be made about the type of contamination present on a site based on previous land use, and therefore provide an estimate of remediation costs. and on the basis of these predictions providing an estimate of remediation costs.  This presentation will explain the BRIC Index in more detail and its use as a cost-benefit analysis tool for brownfield site redevelopment.

    Dr Noukhez Ahmed Dr Noukhez Ahmed
    Researcher, Brownfield Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC)
    Mark Schneider Mark Schneider
    Manager, Brownfield Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC)
  10. Demonstrating How Local Authorities, Developers & Other Stakeholders Can Work Together to Generate Value on Difficult Brownfield Sites

    Harworth Group is one of the largest property and regeneration companies across the North of England and the Midlands, owning and managing over 21,500 acres on around 120 sites. This presentation will demonstrate Harworth’s achievements on their Waverley site in Rotherham, before looking at how their Coalville and Ironbridge sites are progressing. Stakeholder engagement has been a significant aspect in all three of these schemes.

    Tim Cawood Tim Cawood
    Project Manager, Midlands, Harworth Group
  11. Panel Discussion: Overcoming the Barriers to Brownfield Development and Finding Solutions to “Unlock” Challenging Sites

    • Assessing what impact the initial brownfield registers compiled have had so far in bringing forward sites for development and the extent to which they are a genuine workable tool:
      • what improvements are needed to make them a useful planning and development resource?
    • Identifying the barriers to the availability and development of brownfield land and other challenging sites and the measures that could be taken to influence these:
    • establishing value tipping points and successfully negotiating the factors that influence viability and delivery
    • innovative solutions to “unlock” complex or low land value sites
    • Exploring how the process from site investigation to remediation to redevelopment could be simplified and accelerated:
      • what information regarding possible contamination should be provided by applicants, and at what stage in the planning process?
      • how could the complexity of viability assessments be improved?
      • how can local authorities better monitor compliance with agreed pre-commencement conditions?
      • to what extent can the National Quality Mark Scheme (NQMS) help facilitate contaminated sites through the planning process?
    • Understanding developers’ key drivers when choosing potential sites and why some are considered more attractive than others:
      • the view on brownfield sites and the level and types of risk developers are prepared to take
      • how contaminated land risk assessment and remediation fits into the bigger development picture
      • land-banking and how sites are selected to be brought forward for development
    • Identifying what incentives and mechanisms would be most useful to developers in encouraging brownfield development
    • Strategies for improving early engagement, better communication and collaboration between local authorities, developers, remediation consultants & contractors, and other stakeholders to speed up the delivery of brownfield sites


    Gerald Kells Gerald Kells
    Strategic Policy and Campaigns Advisor, Independent Consultant working with Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)
    Tim Cawood Tim Cawood
    Project Manager, Midlands, Harworth Group
  12. Networking Lunch

  13. Case Study: Bilston Urban Village- A Digital Solution for the Regeneration of an ‘Undevelopable’ Brownfield Site

    Bilston Urban Village (BUV) is a 37ha site with a legacy of heavy industrial use including coal mining, foundries and other metal works. Its rundown state was affecting the viability of the wider area’s regeneration aspirations and the creation of a more sustainable community.

    BUV had been identified as a priority area for public and private investment in numerous strategies adopted over the last 50 years. A number of ‘traditional’ site investigation and contamination risk assessments had been undertaken at the site dating back to the 1970s but none were able to give the market sufficient confidence that the site was developable. The private sector saw the site as “high risk”.

    Through the use of ground modelling, GIS and risk analysis techniques, Arup and its partners, working in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council identified a number of realistic, viable and deliverable options for taking the site forward for development and informing a high-level Masterplan. This included “soft market testing” which helped to change the negative perceptions of Bilston as an investment location and the raising of market confidence in the area.

    Successful re-evaluation of the existing site constraints, informed the Delivery Strategy for this deprived area. The Strategy is now being delivered by the public and private sectors.

    Yolande Macklin Yolande Macklin
    Senior Contaminated Land Specialist, Arup
    Rod Griffin Rod Griffin
    Associate, Infrastructure, Arup

    Improving Site Characterisation To Reduce Likely Costs & Increase Developer Confidence

  15. Introducing the Brownfield Ground Risk Calculator: A New Land Redevelopment Feasibility Planning Tool for Facilitating Brownfield Redevelopment Projects

    British Geological Survey (BGS) have developed a GIS ground risk prioritisation tool that evaluates sub-surface abnormality and calculates risk scores and cost estimates for soil and groundwater contamination and land instability issues. This presentation will outline the tool and its potential use in early stage viability testing for brownfields, including practical examples of its application to over 4000 sites for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and 10 Local Authorities there.

    Darren Beriro Darren Beriro
    Geoenvironmental Scientist, British Geological Survey
  16. What to Look For in a Land Contamination Assessment of a Post-Industrial Brownfield Site

    • The (monetary) value of information
    • The (financial) benefits of detailed site characterisation
    • The (monetary) returns of investing in a good risk assessor
    • The (time) value of telemetry and continuous data
    • The (financial) payback of integrating a bespoke remediation strategy‎ with the redevelopment
    Dr Paul Nathanail Dr Paul Nathanail
    Technical Director - Contaminated Land, GHD
  17. Managing the Implications of Coal Mining Legacy for Brownfield Development

    The rich industrial history of the Black Country and the West Midlands coalfield poses a number of challenges for the brownfield developer, with geological conditions that are somewhat unique to this region with respect to coal mining legacy risk.

    Due consideration is required at the earliest available opportunity to establish the risks that could be posed by historical coal mining to a future development. An appropriate scheme of desk-study, investigation and monitoring may be required to understand those features which could require remediation or long term management.

    Helen Bennett Helen Bennett
    Technical Team Leader, The Coal Authority
  18. Afternoon Refreshments & Networking


    Funding Sources & Mechanisms to Reduce the Risks of Brownfield Development

  20. Clarifying Government Support and Funding Available to De-Risk Brownfield Sites and Increase “Deliverability”

    • Detailing exactly what funding, support and expertise is available to de-risk and redevelop brownfield sites:
      • what will be expected of Local Authorities from such partnerships?
      • how do Homes England allocate and prioritise funding and support?
      • accessing the Marginal Viability Fund
    • Detailing the types of projects that have successfully received Government funding and the criteria that helped secure this money
    • Exploring what “gap” or “top-up” funding is available to schemes that have initial investment but lack sufficient funding to progress
    Karl Tupling Karl Tupling
    General Manager - Midlands, Homes England
  21. Exploring the Use of Tax Incentives to Support Brownfield Development

    • Examining land remediation tax relief – overview of key entitlement conditions and scope of allowable costs  
    • Land remediation relief in practice – common pitfalls and planning opportunities including the interaction with grant funding
    • Research and development tax relief – using the tax relief to subsidise the cost of resolving complex challenges on brownfield sites


    Ben de Waal Ben de Waal
    Director, The Fiscal Incentives Group
  22. Closing Remarks from the Chair and Close of Conference