In the original study, Briars Lane was marked as the area with the highest probability of chalk mining activity. This was clearly evident following further investigations. Remediation took place over a year and was completed in 2008. The site is now free of any subsidence risk and the area has been removed from the study map.

History of Briars Lane

Following a number of subsidence events in and around Briars Lane, the council in 2003 approached a specialist consultant, Peter Brett Associates to investigate further. This identified a very high likelihood of chalk mining activity.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council then appointed project engineers Mace to manage the process. They appointed further geotechnical expertise, coordinated the funding applications required and were the first port of call for local residents.

Ground investigations were then conducted in Briars Lane funded by English Partnerships costing £1.2million.

Mines were found and in late 2005, the project team (the councils and Mace) recommended to a small number of property owners and tenants to evacuate their properties; the road was closed to through traffic and Briars Lane School closed.


Remediation project

During 2006 funding was sought from English Partnership, the authority responsible for the Land Stabilisation Programme. Once £2.6million was agreed the project for remediation started. Actual work on-site started in July 2007 with bulk infilling and compaction grouting.

The contractors, Ritchies and consultants Mace and Hyder, worked closely with residents to ensure that the impact of the works was minimal to their daily lives. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council also assisted residents needs as and when required, particularly to those most effected by the works.

Through the process, public meetings and regular contact took place with local residents.


Removal of risk

Residents from Briars Lane, Hatfield, celebrated the completion of the £4m restoration project to remove the risk of subsidence to their homes and the local area in June 2008.

Hosted by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council, the event marked an end to the five year programme and an end for residents living with blight to their homes. At the ceremony residents living in the high risk area received formal certification of the completed work confirming to them that they are now living in a stable area.

For further information view the Icon for pdf Chalk Mine Stabilisation validation report for Briars Lane, produced in June 2008 by Hyder.