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James Short

Technical Director

James joined us in 2015 and is Technical Director of the Environmental team with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. His mix of private and public sector employment gives him unique insight to the business of brownfield development.  The bulk of his experience gained in multidisciplinary engineering environments includes 8 years as a Principal Geo-Environmentalist with Jacobs / Babtie in Edinburgh and 4 years with W.A Fairhurst and Partners in Glasgow. He returned to the private sector on joining us, following a stint as Contaminated Land Officer at Dundee City Council.

James is a Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Scientist, and an accomplished geo-environmental specialist with a wealth of skills and experience from a wide variety of projects. He has been actively involved in some of the countries key brownfield developments, such as Western Harbour in Edinburgh, City quay, Dundee, Rosyth Europarc and the M74 Completion in Glasgow.  At Dundee City Council James implemented a revision of the councils contaminated land strategy and applied consistent risk evaluation and quantification methodologies across the process. He also developed in-house standards for brownfield development control and provided staff training across departments. As a consultant, he has managed a varied portfolio of environmental and contaminated land projects, on behalf of public and private sector clients. His range of project skills is complemented by experience including secondment advisory to the Environment Agency and training provision to local authorities.

James specialises in refining risk assessment and offering cost effective, engineering solutions for all sorts of brownfield land development. He has wide and varied experience working as a geologist and environmental scientist on some of the countries most complicated brownfield sites. He draws on his experience as both a regulator and consultant to ensure the focus of environmental project work delivers the clients’ objectives.

“We apply a consistent and rigorously maintained in-house methodology for risk assessment and management. I find this creates a level playing field from where we can robustly defend conclusions and recommendations. It is entriely possible to make land contamination concerns go away at an early stage, if tackled correctly. Though each site is unique, it is important that the risk evaluation is not. The process must remain focused on the objective, which is to demonstrate land is, or can be made suitable for the use and is not “contaminated land”. I have seen plenty of developments suffer prolonged delays and escalating costs, simply from failure to promptly address land contamination concerns and gain the necessary regulatory approvals. Lack of rigour and unfounded assumptions give subjective assessments, which usually leave elements of risk concerning the regulators. We tackle the issues head on because we know how to address them properly. I know from experience the majority of brownfield can be cost effectively re-developed. Key to that is knowing how to do it and that is what we are here for.”


BSc. Hons. Applied Geology, MSc. Environmental Biogeochemistry
Member Society for the Environment and Institute of Environmental Science, CSci, CEnv


I’m here to answer any questions you might have about our Environmental services. Feel free to contact me using any of the following methods:


01382 227380

07495 689 231

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