27 Jun 2013
June 27, 2013

There’s a Hole in My Ground!

Mining in Britain has taken place over many centuries and has left a legacy of poorly recorded surface and underground workings together with mineshafts and other features of marginal stability.  You may be surprised just how much of the country is affected by past mining when consideration is given to past extraction of metals (tin, copper, lead, silver, iron etc), limestone, chalk, flint, sandstone, certain clays, even oils and tars, as well as coal.  At Crossfield Consulting, we have experience in assessing mining and ground stability risks in a wide variety of situations throughout the country as a precursor to developing economical mitigation and engineering solutions.

In coal mining areas, the “new” procedures of the planning authorities and the Coal Authority are now becoming well established following the withdrawal of the PPG/PPS series of planning guidance.  Crossfield Consulting has qualified staff to prepare the specialist Coal Mining Risk Assessment Report required for developments in Coal Mining Development Referral Areas.  This is a stability assessment that   is   both   site-specific and relates to the proposed development, and it is required to accompany a Planning Application within the identified areas.   The requirement for such an assessment is not new but is now being implemented in a   more consistent manner around the country. The risk assessment report can be relatively simple and concise for straightforward situations.  It is also an opportunity to provide a rational and risk-based approach to ground stability matters.  Undertaken correctly, the report should be used to carefully define the likely ground conditions and mining features to support the development of cost-effective mitigation measures.   An overly simplistic report may not benefit site development due to excessive (even unnecessary) treatment/stabilisation works that may then be required.

Consideration of mining issues at an early stage often reaps major cost benefits, especially if development layouts can avoid the location of sensitive structures over/near to mineshafts.  In high-risk areas, consideration can be given to contingency measures so that options are in place if mining features are encountered in unexpected locations at a late stage in development. <

Experienced staff at Crossfield Consulting can assist with the associated permitting/regulatory issues and, where appropriate, assist with the appointment/supervision of specialist contractors and subsequent verification.We have supported a number of Clients in turning derelict sites of little apparent value into prime development opportunities.