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►CS07 Olives Paper Mill, Bury

Development: 90 Residential properties
Year: 2005 - current
Client: Persimmon Homes
Development Value: £18 million (approximately)


Site History

Coopers were commissioned to undertake a pre-demolition survey and further ground investigation for Olives Paper Mill and the surrounding ground in 2005.

Olives Paper Mill was an extensive paper mill established between 1844 and 1893, with previous usage prior to this as a bleach works. The site was situated at the base of a U-shaped valley with the Kirklees Brook running adjacent. Extensive tipping of site derived ash and clinker had occurred during the life of the site and had been partially profiled to create an access road. The results of this type of filling and profiling were very steep slopes which required risk assessment and careful designing of foundations. Several former reservoirs had been backfilled within the proposed development area.

Ground Investigation

Persimmon Homes had already contracted Celtic Technologies to undertake a ground investigation and risk assessment prior to Cooper’s appointment. We took over the ground investigation allowing Celtic Technologies to concentrate on the risk assessment for hydrocarbon contamination remnant on site. The site had also been previously investigated by 2 other consultants prior to the appointment of Celtic Technologies.

We completed the ground investigation of this site in two phases, with the first phase undertaken within those areas accessible prior to demolition. This report was approved by Bury Metropolitan Council and was supplemented by a second report covering the previously inaccessible areas of the site. Coopers utilised many previous phases of investigation, together with data obtained through new investigations to produce a detailed report and foundation programme for the site. The remediation proposals for immobile/low mobility contaminants were to comprise an inert cover site wide due to the significant volumes of ash and clinker present across the site.

Structural Engineering

Our Structural Department undertook a pre-demolition survey of the mill building which was largely intact at the time of our appointment, and kept a watching brief on the demolition following the removal of asbestos. We carried out condition surveys on adjacent properties situated on the crest of the slope overlooking the proposed development as the proposed site was to be piled, and the slope was to be reprofiled.

Watching Brief

Coopers watching brief prevented the client from being adversely affected by significant issues arising from groundworks contractors attempting to accelerate the programme of works without informing the client and removing fuel tanks without following the correct procedures


Coopers have undertaken the validation of the initial properties on site for both ground gas and soil mitigation measures. As validation progresses with our client’s construction sequence we obtain approvals from the Local Authority and the NHBC.

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