Brockley Common redevelopment hit by asbestos setback

It has already been discussed in a few places on Brockley Central, but this update on the progress of the Brockley Common project from the BXAG website is worthy of its own post.

On June 16th, they Darien Goodwin, Head of Transport, Lewisham Council wrote:

The works in general are progressing well. The site was nominally split into two areas; the steps and the ramp, with the focus being on constructing the step structure as a priority. This was to allow the footbridge and ticket office to be re-opened earlier as it was possible to fence off this area on completion and continue with works to the ramp separately. The paving is currently being laid to the steps and ticket office access and it is intended for the footbridge to be re-opened at the end of the month (June 2009), weather permitting. The scheme as a whole is about 3 weeks behind schedule.

The original budget was estimated at £182k which included work to provide a route through the earthen mound and the creation of a DDA ramp with steps to the south and performance area atop the mound and northern stepped access. The budget was made up of nearly £8000 from the remainder of the Mayors Growth fund for the area, £146000 from the Council’s Others Services Capital Programme of which £71k would be reimbursed from the Department for Transport Access for all small schemes and £28000 from Section 106 funding. The Access for All money cannot be claimed until the ramp has been constructed and signed off by Network Rail and was allocated funded in the 08/09 financial year, but the council successfully managed to ensure that this was accrued for 09/10.

Despite carrying out a ground contamination survey prior to the commencement of works, during the course of construction near surface asbestos sheeting was found. As a result work was delayed while a specialist company was called in to carry out the safe removal of this material.

The cost of this amounted to £150k, which represented nearly 83% of the original budget. There will be additional costs incurred by the council's own contractor that are being determined. The implications of this has meant the council has had to review the project to ensure sufficient funding is available to make good the current works and open up the station access. Officers also need to ensure the costs are contained and that there will minimal additional costs for which there is no budget.

It is possible to provide the primary objective of the scheme, i.e. to provide DDA-compliant access by means of the southern steps and ramps, although funding will have to be identified and sought from the cost overrun of £150k, plus any other contractor costs associated with this . It is proposed to seek approval from Mayor and Cabinet on these additional costs from the existing OSCP funding, which would result in other potential station improvements not proceeding.

There is the concern that the northern section of the site could also be contaminated which would involve costly removal which is not budgeted for. As a result the council will complete the southern steps, the ramp and the piazza area only and will have to omit the performance area and northern steps. This decision has not been taken lightly, and will be a disappointment to the Brockley Cross Action Group who have put in so much hard work in working with the council in helping to deliver this important project, but in view of the current extensive cost overrun, the full project is not achievable at this time and any further work would require more detailed feasibility and an understanding of the total costs of providing the performance area and northern steps which is not planned or budgeted for.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

So one question has to be, in what kind of state are they going to leave the areas that they're not going to change? At the moment the entire site is muddy. Is now the time for a rethink on how best to use that land - maybe we don't need a perfomance space right now, but could it just be turfed over so we can have some green space?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

"near surface asbestos sheeting was found"

Did this guy learn his grammar from Yoda?



near "the" surface Asbestos Sheeting was found. Surely

This happens all the time in old buildings. Haven't they heard of a contingency sum for such items?

Comment said...

That's a good idea. It would be useful to see what the original plans. I've not seen them properly. I have had a search for them online but can't find them.

"Despite carrying out a ground contamination survey prior to the commencement of works, during the course of construction near surface asbestos sheeting was found. As a result work was delayed while a specialist company was called in to carry out the safe removal of this material. " That just reads like neglience of some kind...?

Comment said...

TM: wasn't the budget was based on the findings on the site survey? Which didn't find asbestos, so the project was budgeted accordingly and no budget is going to have a contingency of 83% of the total amount.

Anonymous said...

How near the surface is the asbestos? Near enough for us to not to want to walk over it, near it?

I would have thought that the council would be now responsible for removing it on the basis that they've found a hazadous substance.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, it has been removed.

Anonymous said...

Time to sue the ground contamination surveyors for the extra costs, surely??? Someone PLEASE reassure me that the Council hasn't signed some kind of limited liability agreement with them.......

Anonymous said...

Oh right. So they're not going to build the performance space on the basis that they think there may be more of it over there? But they're not prepared to really look because if they find some they'll have to remove it? Well if that's the case is that area really somewhere that you'd like to picnic on? asbestos is relatively safe if it remains undisturbed but the whole of that site looks fairly disturbed to me. What do they intend to do with the areas they've dug up?

Chippy said...

Sounds like baloney! I've been watching the works and I did not see 'near surface asbestos'. How much was removed? I'd certainly like to compare the square yard removal costs next to what I was paid to remove it years back.

Tressillian James said...

150K to remove it? Is it just me or is every council contract exhorbitantly overpriced?

And who put the asbestos there in the first place? Would that be the council or the transport authorities - seems like they should cough up the extra and leave the plans as is...

Anonymous said...

not happy at all about this.... who do we need to petition?

Oli said...

So, if it was planned to be a 10 week project, and it's now at week 15, but only 3 weeks overdue - shouldn't it be finished now???

And are there plans to connect the London-wards platform directly to Mantle Road to cut out all that rediculous to-ing and fro-ing across walk bridges?

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