Why the ‘pollution tax’ doesn’t have to choke the economy

Why the ‘pollution tax’ doesn’t have to choke the economy

The Builders Merchants Federation has warned that plans to introduce Clean Air Zones could slow down or even stall major construction projects across a number of UK cities.

Councils in Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Leeds and Southampton have until 2020 to introduce pollution busting measures that could result in HGVs being charged for entering areas of each city: where vehicle pollution is at its highest. Similar zones set up in Denmark and Germany have been successful.

Improving the air quality of the UK’s cities is an essential goal in providing citizens with a healthy place to live and work. However, the BMF is concerned that a rise in transport costs could be to the detriment of building project starts and have an impact on the local economy.

At Bellway Homes’ Hanwell View, a housing development which will provide 512 new homes for the Banbury area, we devised a ground modelling strategy that prevented 20,000m3 of non-hazardous materials from going to a landfill. By retaining the material on-site, we were able to reduce our client’s disposal costs, along with the amount of HGV movements required to transport materials off-site.

Other schemes where we have developed similar ground modelling strategies for our clients include: Mallard Walk in Stafford, where we used 4,500m 3 of non-hazardous materials to raise the public open space (POS) by 1.2m, and Foxhill in Brackley, a solution that used 4,500m 3 of non-hazardous materials to raise the POS area by 700mm. On both occasions, reusing the materials on-site saved our client’s money and reduced the amount of lorry movements going off-site to a landfill.

So, by applying an alternative approach to your construction project, additional cost pressures from the clean air tax need not be an issue.

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