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Commonly asked questions

House Specification

Floors (all except Perkins Court)

Ground Floor: Amtico LVT Flooring
First Floor: Condor Kempinski
Bathrooms: Domus

Floors (Perkins Court)

Ground Floor: Amtico LVT Flooring
First Floor: Elements Symphony
Bathrooms: Domus

Kitchens (all except Perkins Court)

Letecombe Lodge & Teasel Cottage: Hand painted Doors supplied by Greengage
Perkins Court & Rackham Court: Handmade Painted Flat Doors in Farrow & Ball
supplied by The Bath Kitchen Company
20mm Quartz Worktops
Bosch Appliances:
Induction Hob and Double Oven
Integrated Microwave
Integrated Dishwasher
Integrated Fridge Freeze

Kitchen (Perkins Court)

Handmade Painted Shaker Style Doors in Farrow & Ball
supplied by The Bath Kitchen Company
30mm Granite Worktops
Neff Appliances:
Induction Hob and Double Oven

Bathrooms (all)

Domus Tiles
Duravit Sanitary Wear

Iron Mongery (all)

Satin Stainless Steel

Regeneration & Associated Ecology

The land at Freshford Mill was contaminated over many years by the industrial works carried out at the site. The contamination of the land posed a threat, not only to insect, mammal and animal health but to the flora and fauna of the area. Further, there was a risk that the contamination might one day make its way into the river to affect both the water quality and the inhabitants of the river.

The remediation work carried out, whilst ensuring that the development is safe for human occupation, has also benefited the wild life of the Mill and the surrounding area.

In addition, the regeneration of the existing Victorian buildings (rather than demolition and rebuilding)
has revitalised some of the important industrial heritage of England.
The planning conditions require the maintenance of a Landscape Ecology Management Plan (LEMP). This aims to ensure that there is conservation management for the range of habitats and key species
across the land.

Bats

Freshford Mill has a nationally important maternity bat roost. Known bat species roosting and breeding are: Greater Horseshoe, Lesser Horseshoe, Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and Serotine bats. To enable the bats to flourish on the site, we have expanded the available roosts. The whold undercroft of Fulling Mill has been repurposed as a bat roost, with protected fly zones, specific roost areas for types of bats and heaters. We have installed bat boxes within the gables of some properties and the external lighting is minimal (and always down lit) to protect flying routes for the bats.

Badgers

Freshford Mill has a badger set on the boundary of the site.

Birds

The building of the flood wall and the remediation of the contamination, has afforded the river significantly improved protection to the River Frome from the chemicals in the ground at the mill.

The bird population along the river can be seen to be flourishing, with frequent sightings of Kingfishers, Wagtails and Dippers.
Freshford Mill is also home to a family of Mallard ducks, currently with 7 ducklings, on our newly built pond. This is their second season on the Freshford Mill pond.

Plants

The planting scheme across the land has be designed to encourage the further expansion of wildlife, specifically the bats and bird species known to inhabit the area. The habitat of the island also has it’s own program of works to encourage the existing native species to
flourish, including the Small Teasel, which is found in abundance there.

Trees

We have maintained as many of the existing mature trees across the land wherever possible, with a program of planting designed to compliment the existing woodlands of the area.

Land Quality

Freshford Mill as the name indicates, was once a place of work for industry. The rich history of the mill shows that it was used for not just the processing of wool but it was also home to aircraft parts in the second world war and more recently rubber production.

The land on which the mill rests was inevitably affected by those industries.

What was found in the land?

Solvents, asbestos and organic chemicals from its use as a factory. Oils and hydrocarbons possibly from a steam engine that helped to run the woollen mill. These are called ‘contaminants’.

What’s the legal process for removing the contamination?

The planning conditions imposed on the site ensure that before residential occupation the contamination is
dealt with in the following way:
1. An investigation into the type and scale of contaminants.
2. A strategy for the remediation of the site.
3. The implementation and completion of the remediation strategy.
4. The independent certification that the contamination
5. The regular and long term monitoring of the land

Who ensures you have remediated the contamination to a satisfactory level?

The planning case officer calls on two independent advisors to ensure that the planning conditions have been met. The two advisors at Freshford Mill are:
1.The Contaminated Land Officer (CLO) for BANES
2.The Environment Agency (EA)

What do the two advisors do?

Both advisors look at the same elements from a different perspective.
Advisor 1. (CLO) assesses the risk to Human Health
Advisor 2. (EA) assesses the risk to controlled waters, in this case the River Frome

How do we know all the advisors were satisfied that points 1-5 had been met?

BANES will only allow the houses to be sold to the public if both advisors agree all five points have been successfully completed. The CLO from Banes will not provide her consent until the risk to human health is insignificant. The report to discharge the conditions is over 1,780 pages long and very thorough.

How did you remove the contamination?

Boreholes were installed to extract oil out of the ground, also utilizing ground water removal to draw the oil to the boreholes.
Solvents were dealt with by excavation of contaminated soils, mostly completely removed from the site. Some of the less
contaminated material was bio-remediated to make it safe for reuse on the site.

What have you done to make me feel more comfortable about living on remediated land?

We have installed hydrocarbon gas membranes in every house. This has been verified and tested by an independent consultant and ensures that any residual gas underground will not be able to migrate into the home. We have also removed a large amount of the surface soil and replaced it with:
1.a cover system that includes a ‘capillary break layer. This stops water being drawn up from the lower ground.
2. an orange warning membrane.
3. topped it with imported, clean soil

Can we read more detail about the process used to remediate the contamination anywhere?

All documents to discharge planning conditions are posted on the BANES planning portal at:
www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/planning and are availble for anyone to download.

Are there any downsides to living on the land at Freshford Mill?

As with all homes built on remediated contaminated land, we advise home owners not to plant fruit trees or vegetables.

Flood Defences

Freshford Mill as the name indicates, was once a place of work for industry. The rich history of the mill shows that it was used for the processing of wool which required its location to be close to a water source.

Freshford Mill is located on part of the flood plain of the River Frome.

Has the land ever flooded?

Floods to the land where Freshford Mill rests happened most recently in March 2008, November 2012 and December 2013.

What’s the legal process for removing the flood risk?

The planning conditions imposed on the site ensure that before residential occupation the flood risk is dealt with in the following way:
1. Carry out Hydraulic Modelling of the River Frome in the Mill area.
2. Determine flood levels for a 1 in 1000 year flood.
3. Design a flood defense against the maximum water levels created by a 1 in 1000 year flood.
4. Verify that the flood defense is installed and has crest levels higher than the 1 in 1000 year flood level.

What is a ‘1 in 1000 year flood’?

A ‘1 in 1000 year flood’ is a prediction of an event where the statistical chance of a flood happening is 1 in 1000 in any
given year. Put another way, a 1 in 1000 year flood is a prediction of an event where the water reaching the top of the flood
defence wall is 0.1% in any given year.

Who ensures you have removed the flood risk to a satisfactory level?

The Planning Authority calls on the Environment Agency to advise them.

What did the Environment Agency do?

The Environment Agency approved the Hydraulic Model created by Royal Haskoning DHV UK Ltd.

What is the Hydraulic Model for?

The Flood Model is used to determine the crest levels in a 1 in 1000 year flood and aid the engineer to design a flood defense.

Who designed the flood defense?

The ‘Flood Engineers’, Royal Haskoning DHV UK Ltd and ‘Civil and Structural Engineers’, Mann Williams, designed the flood defense.

How was the flood defence designed and installed?

The flood defence was designed and installed using the following components:
1. An earth embankment
2. A combi piled wall, incorporating 18m deep tubular steel piles filled with concrete and interlocking sheet piles
3. Reinforced Concrete wall sections
4. Waterproof membranes to existing walls with RC Concrete protection
5. A compensation storage lake to accommodate displaced flood water. This was completed under permit from the Environment Agency, which is required for all works within 8 meters of controlled waters. The construction included a period of damming and a temporary diversion of the River Frome.

Have any of the flood defence works had an affect on wild life?

Extensive measures were taken to protect the wild life and its habitats during the construction process.

Can we read more detail about the process used to build the flood defences anywhere?

All documents to discharge planning conditions are posted at:
www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/planning and are availble for anyone to download.