Then and now – Land Remediation at Ailsa Wharf

It was in June 2022 that Downwell started on site at Ailsa Wharf in East London. The site hit the news in 2018  when it was bought by a Chinese Developer.

Downwell were appointed to carry out remediation of this heavily contaminated site.

Land Remediation London

Downwell took possession of the site, which had been heavily fly-tipped and had a lot of overgrown vegetation, including Japanese Knotweed.

We prioritized removing and treating the Knotweed, which was growing at the side of former industrial buildings. 

Further treatment of the Knotweed commenced upon the demolition and clearance of the buildings.

The site was cleared of all vegetation and fly-tipping. Materials were separated and sent for recycling.

Upon clearance of the above-ground area, testing started to determine the contamination levels across the site.

A slurry wall was installed on the left-hand side of the site to stop contamination from the adjacent property. This area had been a former basement and required deep excavation. As part of the construction, a new basement is in this position.

Excavation of the contaminated areas of the site began after the removal of concrete slabs and underground obstructions.

Contaminated soil was removed and taken to treatment areas before reinstatement into the ground.

All groundwater went through a cleaning process before being pumped away.


The site in Bow, East London was one of the most heavily contaminated sites in London.

100 years of demolition experience


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