Brownfield Land Scotland 2018

Brownfield Briefing returns to Edinburgh for its 11th annual Brownfield Land Scotland conference, providing you with up-to-date information on the implications of a changing planning and policy framework, as well as practical solutions to many of the current challenges faced when risk assessing, remediating and developing brownfield land.

Bringing together local councils, regulatory agencies, consultants and industry for one information-packed day, this event provides an opportunity to share first-hand experiences and solutions to many contaminated land and groundwater challenges. A topical and up-to-date conference programme, combined with extensive networking and discussion opportunities and a focused exhibition, ensures you can make the most of your time out of the office. Returning with actionable guidance specifically applicable to the development of brownfield in Scotland.

Download the PDF programme| Book your place at Brownfield Land Scotland 2018

With an emphasis on regional case studies and actionable solutions, key topics to be addressed at this year’s event include:

  • Optimising new planning policy frameworks and approaches to maximise
    the role of brownfield land in housing development
  • Effective contaminated land risk assessment in planning - collaborative
    solutions to overcome the obstacles associated with developing brownfield sites
  • New strategies and techniques for effective groundwater risk assessment
  • Examining revised waste exemptions and licensing and the use of Materials
    Management Plans (MMPs) in contaminated land remediation projects
  • Practically applying current asbestos guidance using a suitable
    risk-based approach
  • Best practice guidance for the testing and verification of hazardous ground
    gas protection measures
  • Case study examples of remediation & development projects in Scotland


Date: 7 February 2018, Edinburgh
Location: COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh

Confirmed speakers include:

  • David Adams, Land Commissioner, Scottish Land Commission
  • Paul Howlett, Senior Hydrogeologist,Royal HaskoningDHV UK
  • Brighid Ó Dochartaigh, Senior Scientific Officer, British Geological Survey
  • Craig McLaren, Director of Scotland and Ireland, Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Helen Bonsor, NERC KE Fellow, British Geological Survey
  • Mick Corban, Technical Director‚ MEC Environmental Ltd
  • Elaine Scott, Housing Development and Regeneration Manager, City of Edinburgh Council
  • Sarah Rummens, Sales Director, Envirolab
  • Dr Jon Gettinby, Bishopton Programme Manager, BAE Systems
  • Dr Iain McLellan, Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry, Centre for Environmental Research, University of the West of Scotland
  • Helen McMillan, Principal Hydrogeologist, RSK
  • Laura Tainsh, Partner,  Davidson Chalmers LLP

Conference Programme

Browse the full conference programme below or, alternatively, download the PDF version of the programme by clicking here. Both versions are continually updated in the weeks running up to the event, so be sure to check back for late additions/amends.

9.00 Registration and refreshments

9.30 Opening remarks from the Morning Chairman

Professor David Adams,
Land Commissioner, Scottish Land Commission

Managing Contaminated Land Within Current Policy & Planning Frameworks

9.40 Update on the Scottish Planning Review and the role of brownfield land in housing development

  • Detailing the current status of the Scottish Planning Bill and the National Planning Framework, and any proposed future changes to the Planning System
  • Clarifying the creation of planning zones and the role of brownfield in development plans
  • Evaluating what further steps are needed to “unlock” land for development
  • Outlining how policy and regulation can facilitate brownfield development:
    • empowering local authorities to enable development through greater use of existing powers and new delivery models
    • achieving better collaboration in planning
    • reducing uncertainty and risk for developers

Craig McLaren
Director of Scotland and Ireland, Royal Town Planning Institute

10.05 Local Authority Perspective: How local authorities can work effectively with developers to support the development of housing on brownfield sites

  • Exploring housing demand and land supply in Edinburgh
  • Reviewing examples of affordable housing led regeneration of brownfield sites
  • Assessing the challenges & opportunities for accelerating housing development on brownfield sites

Elaine Scott,
Housing Services Manager, City of Edinburgh Council

10.30 Q&A

10.40 Morning Refreshments

11.40 Developing new collaborative approaches to planning between public and private sectors

  • Increasing data access and web services for delivery and planning of development:
    • the BGS UK digital data portal – data donation, re-access to data, and BGS web services
  • Exploring new collaborative approaches in the early planning process between statutory planning bodies, environmental research bodies, and local government to enable greater use of evidence earlier in the development process and unlock downstream benefit and certainty

This session will be followed by an extended discussion on the current planning and policy framework and the management of contaminated land within this. Delegates are invited to share their own thoughts and experiences on how the process from Site Investigation – Remediation – Development could be simplified and accelerated.

Helen Bonsor
NERC KE Fellow, British Geological Survey

11.50 Overcoming the challenges of delivering large complex regeneration schemes - A Case Study of the Bishopston Regeneration Project

The redevelopment of ROF Bishopton into a new community known as Dargavel Village is a key strategic objective for the Glasgow City region.  The BAE transformation programme addresses the historical industrial legacy issues associated with the production of explosives and propellants dating back to 1915, implements the key strategic infrastructure and amenities, supports the Scottish Government’s challenging targets for housing delivery and regenerates the local community, bringing the land back into beneficial use for the next generation.

The Bishopton programme is strategically important and carries a high level of technical, reputational and financial risk. The session aims to share the technical, regulatory, stakeholder and financial issues of delivering a large-scale regeneration programme.

Dr Jon Gettinby
Bishopton Programme Manager, BAE Systems

12.15 Best practice techniques for the transport, handling and preservation of your soil and water samples to preserve sample integrity and minimise deviation

  • Clarifying the transport and holding times, temperatures and storage for different types of samples     
  • Assessing the effects of new procedures on the validity of sampling data – what are the key influences on labs recording samples “fit for use”?
  • Examining the responsibilities of the laboratory in maintaining sample integrity
  • How can you better control the quality of field sampling?

Sarah Rummens
Sales Director, Envirolab

12.35 Q&A

12.45 Lunch

13.30 Opening Remarks from the Afternoon Chairman

Dr Iain McLellan
Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry, Centre for Environmental Research, University of the West of Scotland

Groundwater Risk Assessment & Remediation

13.35 Baseline Scotland Project: Delivering the first baseline data on groundwater quality in Scotland

Brighid Ó Dochartaigh
Senior Scientific Officer, British Geological Survey

14.00 Case Study: Managing uncertainty in groundwater risk assessments through good data management

This presentation will illustrate, through a series of case studies, how good quality data is fundamental to the understanding of aquifer characteristics and the generation of a realistic model of groundwater plume migration and assessment of risk, including:

  • A conceptual understanding of the water body and its connectivity with surrounding water bodies and features
  • Reviewing the resource potential and how that may affect remediation options
  • Examining in detail water quality parameters (e.g. REDOX, pH) and how they may affect contaminant migration
  • Conducting suitable in-situ hydraulic conductivity testing to accurately reflect aquifer characteristics

Helen McMillan
Principal Hydrogeologist, RSK


14.25 Q&A


Waste Management & Re-Use of Materials

14.35 Assessing the practical implications of changing SEPA policy and legislation on waste management in brownfield projects

  • Reviewing current exemptions and exempt sites
  • Assessing the options and relevant legislation for:
  • on-site re-use of materials (including treatment)
  • off-site use or disposal of materials
  • Examining enhanced compliance and how that will affect sites and costs going forward

Laura Tainsh
Partner,  Davidson Chalmers LLP

15.00 Developing an effective Materials Management Plan (MMP) for the safe, compliant and cost-effective movement of materials on and off-site during a remediation project

  • When is a waste not a waste? Ensuring accurate sampling, risk-assessment and classification of materials
  • Effectively testing, reporting and verifying waste re-use on-site:
    • how can you be sure that materials being imported or re-used are fit for purpose and free of contamination risk? What levels of testing should be undertaken?
    • evaluating different treatment, storage, disposal and re-use options
  • Case Study: Effectively applying current best practice approaches to waste management and materials movement on remediation projects

Paul Howlett,
Senior Hydrogeologist, Royal HaskoningDHV UK

15.35 Afternoon Refreshments

16.00 Asbestos: Effectively applying current asbestos guidance using a suitable risk-based approach

  • Reviewing and practically applying recent CARSOIL guidance alongside HSE and other guidance

  • Proven techniques for accurately identifying the presence of asbestos and when it is a greater risk:

    • best practice where traces or very low levels are found –justifying risk minimisation techniques

  • Managing material with very low levels of asbestos fibres detected:

    • at what level must this material be classed as hazardous and increased mitigation measures applied?

    • giving confidence to landfill and waste site operators in managing this material

  • Exploring the most suitable remediation techniques for asbestos fibres in soil

  • Case study: Practicalities of identifying, remediating and re-using asbestos-contaminated materials on-site

Joe Jackson, Managing Director - Remediation, Keltbray Remediation



16.25 Ground-Gas: Best practice guidance for the testing and verification of hazardous ground gas protection measures 

  • Reviewing the current BS8485 and CIRIA guidance and their requirements
  • Outlining the range of verification activities and their relevance to different stakeholders:
    • to what extent can a verification plan be required as part of a development proposal?
  • Evaluating the advantages, disadvantages and cost-benefits of different integrity test methods and selecting the appropriate method
  • Identifying practical issues that could impact on the verification process and how to overcome them
  • Defining good practice for the recording and reporting of verification activities and results
    • clarifying who is responsible for verification and sign-off and what qualifications they require
    • detailing what should be included in a verification report
    • how can Local Authorities have confidence that measures have been implemented to the required standard?

Mick Corban
Technical Director‚ MEC Environmental Ltd


16.50 Q&A

17.00 Closing remarks from the Chair

Close of conference followed by a networking drinks reception


Download the PDF programme




Full price - £440
Full price subscriber rate - £396

Second / third delegate - £247 / £187
Local authorities / academia - £147

To discuss non-standard attendance options including concessionary and group rates please call +44(0) 203 637 2191 or email


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Supported by:

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Event sponsorship

Brownfield Briefing is inviting appropriate sponsors to exhibit at this event and, in doing so, to benefit from a complete promotional package in the lead up to the live event itself. To learn more about the full range of exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities at the Brownfield Land Scotland conference, download the 2018 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Pack here, call +44 (0)203 637 2191, email or click on the button below.