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Brades Rise, Sandwell case study - Development on a former dump site affects 40 terraced houses


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Brades Rise was originally a clay pit with a long history of municipal waste dumping, but given it was also adjacent to a factory had a significant quantitiy of industrial waste added to it. The pit was filled in and then became a sports ground.
It was sold by a sports equipment manufacturer in the 1980s and in recent years has had several developers competing to build but planning applications have been turned down. Most recently Morris Homes bought the site (with existing knowledge). It wanted to reclaim the site and develop the land into residential units. But the outline planning application was turned down a couple of years ago because of land stability issues.

A row of 40 terraced houses, built in the 1970s, runs alongside the laying field that are potentially affected. Their gardens are on the edge of the old landfill and tests have indicated elevated contours of methane and CO2 in and around the gardens. Sandwell Council has been aware since the early 1990s that the site was a potential methane and CO2 gassing site.


Part of the site was determined under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act in 2001. With the pollutant gas and vapours the transmitter and buildings and controlled waters the potential receptors. The site also lies on the taffordshire coal seam, and the pit in the area was closed around 1900. Investigations include establishing whether there is any
leaching through the mine drainage system to a minor aquifer. Waste dumping occurred before the 1970s, but exactly what was dumped is not wholly known.

There are also several adjacent holes where liquid industrial waste was disposed. Investigations are ongoing as to whether any inter-reaction between the different wastes is occurring or has occurred. Adjacent to the site is an old Albright and Wilson factory, where chemical waste has been deposited over a number of years, including phosphorus
lagoons, representing potential danger through remediation to existing houses and any new development.

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