Newcastle Site Investigation: Managing Coal Mining and Ground Gas Risk


Newcastle is a city with a rich industrial heritage, notably coal mining and ship building, with the former being inherently linked with the latter; the phrase ‘carrying coals to Newcastle’, an idiom used to describe something pointless or redundant, perhaps underlining the significance of the coal industry to the city.

These industries, amongst others, have  left a legacy of environmental and geotechnical challenges that need to be considered by developers and investors .

Roberts Environmental is an experienced geo-environmental consultancy that provides insightful geotechnical and contaminated land risk management services to help stakeholders navigate property development and investment. Within this blog, we will discuss the challenges of managing ground gas risks from coal mining in Newcastle and how Roberts Environmental's consulting services can help clients mitigate these risks.

Historical Overview of Newcastle's Development and Environmental Risks

Newcastle, situated on the northern bank of the River Tyne in the north east of England with a population of just over 300,000 has an extensive historic legacy with its early origins going back to 122AD as the location of a Roman Fort situated on the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall. Coal was first extracted commercially from as early as the Twelfth Century powering the industrial revolution before extraction ceased in 1963. Given the long history of coal mining and heavy industry, it's no surprise that many brownfield sites are present within the city and across the region. The city's rich industrial heritage has left a legacy of geotechnical and environmental challenges, including potential ground gas generation sources.

Ground Gas Risks from Coal Mining in Newcastle

Worked coal seams support the accumulation of harmful gases such as stythe gas, methane and carbon dioxide. These gases can migrate through the soil and into buildings, potentially causing health and explosive risks, therefore, it's important to identify and manage ground gas risks when developing on former coal field sites. Roberts Environmental offers a range of ground gas services, including risk assessments, monitoring, and remediation design. We have extensive experience working on coal mining sites and can provide effective solutions to manage ground gas and stability risks in Newcastle and throughout the United Kingdom.

Brownfield Development and Environmental Protection in Newcastle

Brownfield development is essential to ensure sustainable land use in urban areas. However, it poses challenges for environmental protection, and the regulatory authorities require robust contaminated land assessments, Including Phase I Desktop Studies, Coal Mining Risk Assessments, Ground Gas Risk Assessments through to Intrusive Site Investigation work to ensure that future site-users will not be at risk.

Roberts Environmental works closely with developers, local authorities, and other stakeholders to ensure that environmental considerations are integrated into the planning and development process. Our local knowledge ensures that the correct techniques are chosen when designing any Geo-Environmental Assessment in Newcastle and across the region, obtaining the required information to satisfy local authorities and inform future development plans.


Newcastle's rich industrial heritage has created unique environmental challenges that require effective solutions. Roberts Environmental provides Geo-Environmental consulting services that can help manage the risks associated with coal mining and brownfield development. With vast local knowledge in managing geotechnical and contaminated land risks during property development and investment in and around Newcastle, Roberts Environmental has the expertise to provide effective, pragmatic solutions.

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For further information on how we can assist you with Geo-Environmental Assessments please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 230 4521 or email:

1 Croft Stairs
Newcastle Upon Tyne

55 Whitfield Street

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0191 230 4521