A major landfill reclamation project on the edge of Winchburgh, in West Lothian, has won the UK’s ‘Best Sustainable/Urban Regeneration/Infrastructure Scheme’ at the Environmental Analyst’s 18th annual Brownfield Awards Ceremony in London.
Winchburgh Developments Ltd’s large-scale, sustainable development is one of the UK’s most exciting placemaking projects, providing 3,800 new homes across the private and social rented sectors, improved transport links, employment opportunities, state-of-the-art schools, and new outdoor spaces.
The award which is shared between the Developers, Winchburgh Developments Ltd and their consultant team of Engineers Sweco and Landscape Consultants Optimized Environments, along with their Contractors I&H Brown, recognises the project’s innovative use of an abandoned landfill site to deliver a new 85 acre district park.
Speaking at the annual awards ceremony, John Hamilton, Chief Executive of Winchburgh Developments Ltd, said: “The innovative reimagining of the former Auldcathie landfill site with sustainable goals at its heart, shows just what can be achieved when we think outside the box about Brownfield sites.
“Now more than ever, as we race towards net zero as an industry, we need placemaking projects like Winchburgh where communities are involved from the very earliest stage to shape the future homes and public green spaces they want to live alongside.
“We are delighted that our team, along with our development partners have received this national recognition. It’s been fantastic to see the results of our labour being enjoyed by our communities and visitors from further afield. The creation of the Auldcathie District Park has provided the growing community in Winchburgh and surrounding areas with a new public green space.”
The site sits adjacent to the West Lothian Council’s new shared education campus and sports facilities including a nursery and three schools for over 1,500 pupils. The Council have styled the new campus ‘the schools in the park,’ as it provides direct open access to the pupils from the campus sports fields into the new park with direct open links extending outdoor recreation and learning opportunities for pupils. The new green space and associated infrastructure provide significant economic, social, and environmental benefits to the local and surrounding communities.
The park, which is part of the Masterplan for Winchburgh, is fully funded by WDL, with over £8 million invested to date, and has had sustainable goals from the outset, utilizing significant engineering innovation, which were recognized by the judges. It has also been fully designed in consultation with the community of Winchburgh and now includes a community growing area, a community woodland, extensive children’s play, a dog park and extensive areas for walking and cycling.
With United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at its heart the Winchburgh scheme has remediated almost 400,000 tonnes of landfill waste using clean soil from sustainable on-site sources. It has employed 60 permanent staff at its construction phase, including two graduate trainees, delivering on recent work commitments. Its’ de-risking of the land has helped lay the groundwork for delivering the full mixed-use masterplan which will include significant local employment uses, as well as housing, leisure, and education facilities.
The award judges said “This project is an impressive example of bringing an abandoned site back to effective reuse. The project clearly benefits the surrounding area and provide a sustainable solution to a common problem”.