Stone Pit 1, Dartford, Kent
Dartford Borough in North Kent has in the past been characterised by its historical association with the quarrying of chalk and other minerals on a massive scale, and a subsequent legacy of derelict and damaged sites which for decades blighted the area environmentally, economically and socially. One of the last big sites left in need of a productive future, a 40ha landfilled former Blue Circle chalk pit, is now being restored by Land Logical in partnership with the local community. Within five years, the site will have been transformed into a public amenity space with recreational facilities and improved biodiversity.
Key to unlocking this potential was negotiating purchase of the site and the securing of permission to restore the site into a sustainable landform using 0.5 million cubic metres of inert engineering materials and soils, and engagement with the local authorities – County, District and Parish – and environmental charity Groundwork, for whom an endowment is being provided as the precursor to taking on responsibility for managing the site on completion. The first stage of a three phase restoration scheme was commenced in May 2015.
A particular challenge on bringing this derelict site back into beneficial use has been undertaking the complete renewal of the sites’ gas management system.