Alderbrook Stream Improvements, Cranleigh

23 05 2018

The Alderbrook Stream watercourse is in the Borough of Waverley, Surrey.  Part of the local surface water drainage network, the watercourse suffers from problems of erosion and scour caused by surges of storm water run-off.  This has led to undermining and instability of the embankments and serious erosion of the stream bed over its length.

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Left untreated these problems would lead to land slips, an increased risk of flooding and significant restoration costs.

These are typical land drainage problems facing most local authorities around the country.  Constrained by limited resources the local authority often has to coordinate and agree its own land drainage maintenance responsibilities with those of the other riparian owners.

In this case, the section of Alderbrook Stream is within Waverley’s common land ownership, making Waverley Borough Council the sole riparian owner.

 

 

The Stilwell Partnership submitted a successful tender and were appointed to carry out a feasibility study over the stream’s length that would identify and recommend targeted maintenance improvements to address these problems.

Due to its predominantly gravel-rich bedrock, the watercourse also has a diverse ecosystem, and is home to numerous spawning fish species including the wild brown trout.

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The civil engineering design solutions would have to complement the local ecology with minimal disturbance during the construction works.

We developed a number of low cost repair solutions for the watercourse and presented them to Waverley Borough Council.  We proposed gabion mattresses to replace the scoured areas of the stream bed and bag-work to support and retain the eroded embankments.

The measures were approved, and we were instructed to proceed with the  implementation. We subsequently produced detailed construction drawings, appointed a suitable contractor, and supervised the works.

The Stilwell Partnership were pleased to be involved in this successful project.

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The scheme demonstrates how low cost civil engineering measures, sympathetic to the local ecology, can be implemented to resolve typical but urgent land drainage issues, and reduce the risk of flooding.

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Cheltenham High Street East, Public Realm Improvement

26 04 2018

“Public realm embraces the external places in our towns and cities that are accessible to all; everyday spaces that we move through and linger within, the places where we live, work and play.” Anon

Cheltenham town centre is a popular regional shopping destination entertaining significant numbers of visitors throughout the year.  These numbers are further supplemented by tourists attending the many festivals and events, culminating in the annual Gold Cup at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Cheltenham Borough Council, supported by the local Highway Authority, Gloucestershire County Council, and with additional funding by the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF), proposed a major public realm improvement.

General Masterplan Visualisation

Overall Masterplan Visualisation (© Cheltenham Borough Council)

The main High Street shopping area has been a pedestrian zone since the 1980s.  Over the intervening period, some sections of the High Street have become dilapidated; damaged by heavy vehicles servicing the shop fronts, poor quality reinstatements to utility excavations, and with blocked or ineffective surface water drainage.

The Stilwell Partnership were pleased to be appointed to provide the professional civil engineering that would revive the tired townscape and create a quality environment. Our role was to interpret the conceptual designs to current technical standards and produce engineering drawings and specification for construction. Completion was programmed to coincide with the opening of Cheltenham’s new John Lewis flagship development in Autumn 2018.

The improvement would include high quality natural stone paving, efficient surface water drainage, additional public seating, and provide biodiversity by soft landscaping,  and an area for cultural events.

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Phase 1 Visualisation (© Cheltenham Borough Council)

General Layout Phase 1

Appointed in December 2017 against a tight timescale, the detailed design was to be presented for Client approval in mid-February 2018, immediately followed by the (s278) technical submission to the Highway Authority.  Tender Documents for construction were to be issued shortly afterwards.

The Stilwell Partnership successfully met each of these key milestones, enabling the procurement process and legal agreements to progress on schedule for this first £700,000 section.

The Stilwell Partnership continues to play a key role working with the Project Managers & Quantity Surveyors, Faithful & Gould, and the Cheltenham Borough project team.

We will update the blog as construction progresses.

All images are subject to copyright and are used with the kind permission of Cheltenham Borough Council.

 





We Are Recruiting! Associate (Civils), Senior Civil Engineer, and Civil Engineering Technician

12 12 2017

Due to our continued successful growth, The Stilwell Partnership, part of the Parsons Group, is looking for an Associate (Civils), Senior Civil Engineer, and Civil Engineering Technicians to support our diverse range of projects.

An excellent benefits package will be offered to the successful applicant .

The posts would be office based at our offices in Ash Vale, Guildford. Our modern pleasant offices have generous parking and are ideally connected for rail commuting being close to both Ash Vale and North Camp rail stations.

Our friendly staff and relaxed work environment has resulted in the company being shortlisted in the NCE best employer awards.

So if you are a school leaver, graduate or full trained engineer and would like to join our dynamic company, please send us your CV and covering letter along with your notice period and salary expectations to contactus@stilwell-ltd.co.uk.





Havant Road, Horndean: Total Engineering Support for a Major Housing Development

8 11 2017

Havant Road Horndean

Havant Road, Horndean, Hants: an excellent example of the total Highways and Drainage support package that The Stilwell Partnership provide for a major housing development.

From the Planning Application, to Approval, to Construction Drawings and Specification;

The Detailed Highway Design incorporates recommendations from the Transportation Assessment into a Section 278 agreement with the Local Highway Authority.

Site General

The Drainage Strategy provides a Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) solution, resolves surface water flooding from the highway drainage, includes bio retention systems for pollution control, and diverts a pumped mains foul sewer.

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The project sheet has a drop down “accordion” format enabling the reader to get an overview of the development and select more detail on each of the specific stages:

  • Planning 1           Transportation Assessment and Travel Plan
  • Planning 2           Drainage Strategy and Flood Risk Assessment
  • Detailed Design: Planning conditions and Reserved Matters
  • Detailed Drawing and Construction Specification

The Horndean project sheet is now live on our website





Transportation helps Warfield Park Homes win Planning Appeal

4 10 2017

The Stilwell Partnership were pleased to be able to make a key Transportation contribution towards the success of this Appeal by Warfield Park Homes of Bracknell.

A Planning Application locating up to 82 mobile homes on their adjoining land, with suitable alternative green space (SANG), and informal open space, together with access improvements, landscape and diversity measures had been refused by Bracknell Forest Borough Council.

Warfield Park Homes appealed and on 27 September 2017, the Planning Inspector published the decision.  The Appeal was allowed and planning permission granted subject to conditions and a section 106 agreement.

One of the main issues considered by the Inspector was whether the proposed development would be in a sustainable location in respect of proximity to everyday services and facilities.

Warfield Sustainability Map

Transportation issues were carefully considered by the Inspector and described at length within the decision notice.  The Inspector considered the available facilities on site and the needs of future residents to leave the site for education and employment.

The Inspector considered the Stilwell Partnership’s Transportation Assessment (TA) and Sustainability Drawing in the context of current Planning Policies.  Referring to Providing for Journeys on Foot and Manual for Streets guidance, the TA had referred to acceptable walking distances and available public transport to reach off site facilities.  The TA also included a trip analysis to indicate the likely traffic generated by the development.

The Inspector concluded that “Whilst not well-connected, neither would (the site) be in a completely unsustainable location with no choice of transport mode or give rise to greatly increased car travel. In these respects, it would be consistent with the development plan.

The Stilwell Partnership were pleased to be part of the Project Team providing Transportation, Drainage and Sustainable Energy input to the proposed development.

The Inspector also considered the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the countryside and commented “whilst the proposed development would encroach into the countryside, being similar in form and appearance to the existing development at Warfield Park, it would not be unduly incongruous or uncharacteristic”, and that “The biodiversity improvements over the remainder, and considerably larger part, of the appeal site would enhance its character.

The Project Team was led by GVA on behalf of Warfield Park Homes and included Woolf Bond Planning Consultants; HDA Enviro, Landscaping and Ecology; and legal services by Tozers Solicitors and 39 Essex Chambers.

 

 

 





Derbyshire Development Wins Planning

12 07 2017

The Stilwell Partnership were pleased to help their long-standing client, Tapton Estates, win Outline Planning Approval for the proposed development of Derwentside Industrial Park, Belper, Derbyshire.

Amber Valley Borough Council unanimously approved the Application on 11 July 2017.

The scheme comprised the demolition and clearance of existing industrial buildings and re-use of the 6-ha site for 136 residential units.  The proposals also included access improvements and associated works.

Belper Tapton Master Plan

The Stilwell Partnership, with colleagues from the Patrick Parsons Group, put together a comprehensive package of technical assessments addressing many of the contentious issues and potential financial challenges facing development of the site:

The Transportation Assessment addressed potential future Traffic Impact and the long-term sustainability of the site.

The Travel Plan Framework provided an overall strategy to encourage sustainable transport measures; to increase walking, cycling, use of public transport and encourage more efficient car-use.

The Geo-Environmental Assessment examined the geotechnical issues on the site including ground conditions, potential contamination, and the building foundation requirements.

The Utility Constraints Assessment ensured there was adequate service capacity for future development without major investment in utility diversions.

The Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy confirmed that there was minimal flood risk on the site and that a foul and surface water drainage system was feasible within the capacity of local network.

The Noise Assessment considered the impact of noise from nearby roads and suggested mitigation measures that could be incorporated into future development.

On this proposed development, the Stilwell Partnership worked closely with the other project team members; David Lock Architects, FPCR Environment and Design Ltd and Rigby and Co, Commercial Property Agents.

If you would like to know more about these individual reports, or how we can deliver a successful one-stop package of services for your development, please phone our office on 0333 700 401 or email us

 





Nick Stilwell, Stilwell Partnership’s founder, celebrates 25th anniversary

24 05 2017

In May 2017, Nick Stilwell of the Stilwell Partnership celebrated 25 years in business. The Surrey based practice of consulting engineers has always “punched above its weight”, and over the years has made a major contribution to the disciplines of road safety, transportation, and highway engineering.

NJS Profile pic

Stilwell’s first client proposed a major development on a site in Holmethorpe. The site was locked within a triangle of busy rail lines with highway poor access.  Substantial infrastructure improvements, including a new rail bridge, were required to open the site for much needed housing.

To reduce the construction costs and potentially improve the viability of the development, the Stilwell practice introduced the traditionally risk-averse British Railways to a popular Swedish technique of rapid rail bridge construction.  This bridge construction technique has subsequently been adopted and widely used for many new rail bridges throughout the UK.

The Holmethorpe project was to play a substantial part in the growth and development of the practice.  For the next 20 years, the company progressed the project from Public Inquiry to Planning Consent and then through detailed design and construction, to completion.

Also in the 1990s, the District and Boroughs of Surrey had responsibility for the traffic management, road safety and highway engineering.  To improve efficiency, the Stilwell practice offered to take on their staff and provide a shared engineering resource for these Authorities.  This successful arrangement provided essential engineering services to several Boroughs including Surrey Heath, Elmbridge and also Surrey County Council.

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In this role, the practice wrestled with the worsening problem of traffic congestion and delays at busy or complicated roundabouts.  The conventional approach of building yet more roads or larger junctions was not a sustainable solution.  Therefore, the practice looked at new ways of reducing congestion by guiding motorists through the junction, quickly and safely, from the approach to their exit.

Experimenting with white lining and surfacing, the practice developed the Spiral road markings technique.  Initially trialled at Camberley’s Meadows interchange in 1995, the technique was so successful it was adopted as good design practice by the Department of Transport.

Spiral road markings continue to be used throughout the UK to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.  Many road junctions constructed today could not operate efficiently without that pioneering work by the Stilwell practice.

West wales airport

Responding to the requirements of public and private sector clients, the practice offered an increasing number of civil and municipal engineering services.

The practice was appointed civil engineer for the design and supervision of West Wales Airport improvement.  Part funded by the Welsh Parliament, this prepared the airport to become a centre of excellence for the development and operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, (Drones).

In the summer of 2007, areas of the UK were subjected to the worst flooding for many years.  The Stilwell Partnership produced a strategy for Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, an area severely hit by the floods.  Using CAD systems, historic flood information from different agencies was combined to reveal weak spots in the surface water drainage network.

The practice continues to advise local authorities, developers, and parish councils on the potential impact of Flood Risk and flood alleviation measures.

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Most recently, the practice played a key role designing the highway junction infrastructure for the award-winning Pont Briwet road rail bridge in North Wales.

The Stilwell Partnership continues to make a significant contribution to Road Safety.  Nick Stilwell is a member of the Parliamentary Advisory group on Transport Safety, and the Association of Road Safety Officers.  In 2009, the Association presented the practice with the “Award for Outstanding Contribution”.

The Stilwell Partnership continues to promote good practice by sponsoring the Southern Region of the Institute of Highway Engineers.  In addition, Stilwell Road Safety, a not-for-profit venture, aspires to introduce a culture of Road safety from early school days throughout childhood and older to combat the increasing number of road deaths in the 17-25 age bracket.

The practice has been involved in many high profile and prestigious private and public projects over this 25-year history, and looks forward to meeting the challenges of the future.  In 2016, the Stilwell Partnership merged with a like-minded group of practices, the Patrick Parsons Group.