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The Chantry Lane Chalk Mine Remediation project was a significant ground engineering scheme undertaken by a team comprising Welwyn and Hatfield Borough Council (Client), Mace (Project Manager), Arcadis Consulting (UK) Ltd. (Engineer) and BAM Ritchies (Principal Contractor) to locate and stabilise old, unrecorded chalk mine workings under and around homes on a Hatfield housing estate.
Awarded the prestigious 2015 BGA Fleming Award, the scheme was implemented to enhance safety and ensure that properties, highways and public areas have reduced sinkhole development risks. Having achieved these objectives, the scheme success is measured by the reduction of uncertainty that previously affected the area, assisting owners/occupiers to again obtain insurance and sell/improve properties, a very beneficial social outcome highlighting benefits that ground engineering expertise brings to society.
To achieve the scheme objectives the project team worked with the support of local residents to investigate the workings' nature and extent, treat and then validate the success of the treatment. On completion, reports were produced and records of treatment issued to property owners to assist in providing confidence to mortgage lenders and potential purchasers.
The project used and further developed an holistic approach to treatment which may be of interest in tackling increasing nationwide problems of deteriorating old mine workings and sink-holes. It ensured that funding organisations obtained value by achieving required outcomes as efficiently as possible. The project had notable local community involvement throughout the works, which not only took part on and under properties but sometimes inside homes.
Safety was of paramount importance, not just for the workforce but also the public and residents who were present at all times close to work activities.
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