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Millennium Dome

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what contamination there is under the Dome site; [105923](2) what remedial action has been undertaken to clear the land of the Dome site; [105921](3) what the cost is of land reclamation at the Dome site; [105930](4) what works have to be done to clean the ground at the Dome site to make it suitable for houses; [105924](5) how long it will take and how much it will cost to decontaminate the Dome site sufficiently for it to take deep foundation housing. [105929]

Remediation of the Dome site and Greenwich Peninsula, comprising some 121.4 hectares, was carried out in two stages. British Gas, as the original landowner, carried out statutory remediation. The second phase was carried out by English Partnerships (EP) to make the site fit for purpose as per the masterplan for the site.British Gas and EP employed WS Atkins as remediation consultants, who secured agreement from the Environment Agency and the Environmental Health Department of the London Borough of Greenwich for the adopted remediation solutions. This has involved either the removal of any remaining contaminated material or works to contain and isolate remaining traces of contaminants such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons and petroleum hydrocarbons, which were tar by-products from the site's original use as a gasworks.The depth to which materials were removed and treated varies across the site. In some areas material was removed to a depth of 14 metres. The containment of any residual contamination after treatment involved the construction of surface and vertical barriers. Such barriers vary according to the end use but in landscaped areas, for example, they are typically about 1.5 metres thick. Works were undertaken toachieve remediation fit for purpose as per the masterplan.The cost to EP for the purchase and remediation, servicing and landscaping of the Greenwich Peninsula site was £185 million. The requirement for any future remediation will depend partly upon whether there is a change of use from that proposed under the existing masterplan to a use proposed under the masterplan that is currently the subject of a planning application to Greenwich Council. In any case, as with any brownfield site, further development will need to be done in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the capping layer, for which there are standard construction processes. Therefore, further remediation may not necessarily be required.The land under the Dome itself will not be used for housing. A planning application was submitted to the London Borough of Greenwich, by Meridian Delta Ltd. jointly with Anschutz Entertainment Group, Quintain Estates and Development and English Partnerships, on 23 December 2002. The plan proposes a new 26,000 capacity arena in side the Dome and surrounding facilities in the Dome for various leisure, sporting, entertainment, exhibition, retail and community uses. It also outlines development over a 20-year period for: over 10,000 homes on the Peninsula with associated community facilities and public open space; and 3.5m sq. ft of commercial development on the Peninsula. The application covers some 76.9 hectares, and is currently being considered by Greenwich Council under the normal planning procedures.It should also be noted that the delivery of housing on the Peninsula is already well underway, with the construction of the Millennium Village.