HL Deb 10 October 2000 vol 617 cc25-7WA
Lord Jopling

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the acreage of the land occupied by the Dome at Greenwich, together with its ancillary buildings and vacant land. [HL3946]

Lord Whitty

The Dome itself covers an area of 20 acres. The Dome and the adjoining land to the north of the North Greenwich transport interchange covers 48 acres. The Dome, the adjoining land, and the piazza area above the underground station, coach and transit turnaround comprise 63 acres. The total site occupied by the New Millennium Experience Company including backup, service areas and the coach park covers 120 acres.

Lord Jopling

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many tons of soil were removed in the process of dealing with pollution at the Dome site; how and where it was treated; what were the minimum and maximum depths of soil removed, together with percentages of soil removed per metre of depth; and [HL3947]

What recommendations were received, when the site was acquired for the construction of the Dome complex, to deal with pollution; how much of the soil on the site was treated for pollution by means other than removal; and how much soil, and how much of the total acreage, still remains to be dealt with for pollution so that industrial, office or domestic development could be carried out on the site. [HL3948]

Lord Whitty

Remediation of the site has been carried out in stages. British Gas, the original landowner, carried out the statutory remediation, removing all substances which could be a danger or harmful to health.

The second phase has been carried out by English Partnerships to make the site fit for known planned developments. This has involved either the removal of any remaining contaminated material or works to contain and isolate it. Approximately 1.3 million m3 of soil has been affected by earth moving operations on the Greenwich Peninsula, of which 260,000m3 of fill has been removed by English Partnerships from the New Millennium Experience Company site, and 230,000m3 from the southern site.

The remaining 850,000m3 was deemed suitable for retention on site, in some cases after treatment. Approximately 30,000m3 of material has been subjected to "soil washing" to remove the finer, more contaminated material; and about 245,000m3 of crushed concrete and similar material has been recycled for use on site.

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, with the deepest area of bulk excavation being approximately 8 metres under the English Partnerships contracts.

The containment of any residual contamination after treatment has involved the construction of surface and vertical barriers. Such barriers vary according to the end use but in landscape areas, for example, they are typically about 1.5 metres thick. In other areas, particularly areas used for coach parks and other uses which incorporate a hard solid capping layer themselves, the depth of material used in construction and as a barrier is approximately 450 mm thick.

Both British Gas and English Partnerships employ WS Atkins as their remediation consultants, who secured the agreement of the Environment Agency and the Environmental Health Department of the London Borough of Greenwich to the remediation solutions which were carried out on site.

The whole of the 300 acre Greenwich Peninsula site has been remediated fit for its purpose. Any further remediation will depend upon the final use to which the land is to be put and will relate to the form of construction used, for example, where piles and/or other foundations may need to break through the barrier layer they will have to be treated in accordance with the regulatory bodies' standards to ensure the integrity of the capping layer.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company, first became aware that the management of NMEC had not constructed an asset register; and [HL3877]

When Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company, first became aware that the management of NMEC had not included a calculation of the costs of closing the exhibition on 31 December 2000 in the company's business plan. [HL3878]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton)

I was first made aware that the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) had not got a proper asset register, nor calculated accurately the costs of closing, following a presentation to the Board on 22 August by PricewaterhouseCooper on the company's finances.