RJD Associates (North West) Limited have been appointed as the CDM Principal Designer on a construction project at the Main Site at the former Backbarrow Ironworks. The site is approximately 1.8ha in size and is occupied by the former Backbarrow Ironworks which was designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) in 1976, and was included as one of the Top 10 key industrial sites of outstanding importance on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. Restoration works are due to commence on the SAM in March 2017, completing in August 2017, however this is a separate construction project to the Main Site involving different CDM Duty Holders, i.e. Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. The former Ironworks were vacant since the 1960’s and planning permission was granted in 2003 for a mixed-use redevelopment of the site. This involved constructing the partially completed series of live/work buildings that now occupy the Main Site, however these works stalled around 2007 and the site has since been vacant.

The project involves converting and refurbishing 2no existing residential shell blocks to form 43no apartments and 5no affordable homes, with the scope of works comprising demolishing 2no existing office blocks, converting and refurbishing the two main residential terraces to form 43no apartments, converting and refurbishing the existing workshop units to form 5no affordable homes, constructing access roads, car parking and associated landscaping, constructing a new flood wall and constructing foul and surface water drainage systems.

The site is situated within the village of Backbarrow to the west of the A590, and the adjacent land uses within the village are predominantly residential, with the River Leven adjoining the east site boundary. Key health and safety issues on this project include overlap with the adjoining SAM construction site during the initial phase of works, identifying existing mains services within the site demise, demolishing the existing buildings, managing the overlap between the construction site and the adjacent land uses, preventing unauthorized access to the construction site and traffic management.