Stone Pit 1, Dartford, Kent
Purchased in unpermitted condition by LL in 2014, the 41 hectare (101 arce) landfilled former chalk pit, is being progessively restored through importation of inert engineering materials and soils on a huge scale. The overal objective is to return the site to a sustainable landform suitable for use as publically accessible greenspace and with enhanced biodiversty. This was to be achieved by undertaking re-profiling works on approxamatley half the landfilled pit. However in pratice it has become necessary to undertake engineering works across the whole of the site.
A particular challenge in bring this derelict site back into beneficial use has been undertaking to the complete renewal of the sites gas management system. Upwards of £1M has been invested in this aspect of the project alone, including the introduction of two 'state of the art' mirco gas engines which are now exporting green power into the National Grid.
Nonetheless, key to unlocking the potential of this project, located prominently in the shadow of the Dartford Crossing and virtually surrounded by residential communties, has been its planninmg and delivery with great sensitivity and engagement with the local authorities - County, District and Parish- local groups and the enviromental charity Groundwork.
An investigation of the sites perimeter revealed the possibility for a modest development that could not only meet local community aspirations, but enable its long term sustainable management. The result was a submission of a scheme - Atlas Park- comprising a medical centre, retail and commercial space, sports pavilion and associated pitches, together with investment in the open amenity space. Subject to satisfying stringent technical requirements given the sites landfilling history, the hope is to proceed to implementation at the earliest possible opportunity.