development plans for properties purchased in the dockland areas and on other brownfield sites
where contaminated land is present. In several instances that ERS has advised on recently, sites
had planning permission for redevelopment including the provision of underground basements for
car parking and ancillary services. However, these planning proposals usually date from the end of
the Celtic Tiger economy, when the significant disposal costs for contaminated soil that does not
meet inert waste acceptance criteria were a relatively small proportion of the overall development’s
property value. A soil remediation budget of €3-5 million, may seem acceptable in the context of
a €100 million development with an underlying property value of €50 million, but looks entirely
different when the current property valuation of €10 million is included in the calculation.
The return on investment to create underground void space needs to be assessed against the
remediation costs. In a recent example that ERS was appointed to provide strategic contaminated
land advice on, the cost of providing every 1 metre depth of underground space on the site was
approximately €600,000 – €700,000. This presented a clear commercial opportunity to reconsider
the proposed development by reducing or redesigning the basement and consider sustainable
remediation technologies where on site treatment would prove more cost effective to reduce the
amount of material requiring hazardous disposal and reuse remediated materials as aggregate
within the development.
For further information on how ERS can add value during property transactions and development
planning, please contact Shane Herlihy at email@example.com or by phone 087-2334252.