Charitable Cheer from the Stilwell Partnership !

16 01 2017

This Christmas The Stilwell Partnership took part in the Patrick Parsons Group charity food donations effort with their very own twist!

Anthony Cowey, Infrastructure Director, is a member of Emmanuel Church in Guildford where he became aware of a charity hamper appeal in which donations of food and gifts are given to the Church and the congregation organise them all into individual hampers. Volunteers make up the hampers, decorating each one with festive wrapping and deliver them out to the local community as a Christmas surprise.

Claire Marrow, a member of the Emmanuel Church and a support aid at the local primary school, helped organise the scheme acknowledging families in their local area who are in need. Claire was overwhelmed by the generosity and community spirit, sending the following message:

‘A huge thank you to all your staff who supported our Christmas hamper appeal. Their generosity was amazing and helped to make up the most hampers we have ever had, 56 in total. There were lots of tears of sheer joy as they were delivered and I have received so many grateful messages already. Please find attached some pics from yesterday and will thank you all properly in the New Year.’

Patrick Parsons Group thanked The Stilwell Partnership for their efforts saying:

“Well done to Anthony Cowey and The Stilwell Partnership in Guildford for their kindness and many donations which made the hampers possible. They will have brought joy to each family who received them, giving their Christmas a little more cheer.”


Challenging Housing Development in Horley Gets Planning Consent

6 01 2017

Despite setbacks during the Planning process, perseverance pays off.  At the end of May 2014, WSP Architecture & Planning of Reigate submitted a Planning Application for a development of up to 46 high quality dwellings in Horley, Surrey. The development was to be located on land at the rear of an existing cul-de-sac, requiring highway access between existing houses.

The Stilwell Partnership were appointed to provide the following specialist engineering services for the Planning Application:

A Flood Risk Assessment & Drainage Strategy.  Developed in full consultation with the local drainage officer, the strategy ensured that the site complied with policy for restricting and attenuating surface water run-off, and reduced the risk of flooding in the wider area.  This was achieved through tactical spatial planning and widening of watercourses to provide additional flood plain storage in the west of the site, an area subject to historic flooding.

A Transportation Assessment and additional Highway design services.  The Transportation Assessment reported that the site was in a sustainable location with good links to public transport, shops, and employment opportunities.  The highway design proposed a 5.5m width carriageway with 1.8m wide footways on either side from the cul-de-sac to serve the new residential properties.  This also included improvements to the lane, a small roundabout and other sightline enhancements.

The Stilwell Partnership reports and design proposals addressing Flood Risk, Drainage and Transportation were accepted by the Local Authority without comment.  Despite this, in July 2015, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council rejected the Planning Application referring to Planning Policy issues.

An Appeal was submitted in January 2016, heard in October, and in November, perhaps about 3 years after the development was first conceived, the Planning Inspector allowed the Appeal.

The Stilwell Partnership are pleased to be associated with this successful outcome.



New Marriott Hotel, Cable Street, New Cross, City of Manchester

13 10 2016

Cable street.jpg


The Stilwell Partnership supported the successful Planning Application by Axcel Property Developments Ltd for a new Marriott hotel providing multidisciplinary design advice including Highways & Transportation, Drainage, Low Carbon Energy and Noise Assessments.

A full Planning Application was submitted for a 172-bedroom hotel on the brownfield site of a surface car park in Cable Street in Manchester’s New Cross area. The development comprised the hotel (Class C1) with associated public realm, landscaping and other associated work. Proposals included a café bar, fitness centre, meeting rooms and associated servicing areas.

Our package of engineering design services included:

A Transport Statement of the development’s transportation impact on the local highway network. Our assessment considered sustainable forms of transport, including opportunities for walking and cycling, and the accessibility to public transport. We also considered servicing and emergency vehicle access. Our assessment concluded that the development could be accommodated without detriment to vehicular flows and road safety.

A Drainage Strategy, to minimise the impact on the wider area from surface and foul water from the proposed development. The very confined site limited the range of sustainable drainage options. An attenuation solution was identified to control the surface water run-off.

The Noise Assessment highlighted the application site was in a relatively noisy area impacted from road traffic noise on the A665 Addington Street.  Mitigation action proposed triple glazing to the bedrooms on the assumption the hotel would have air conditioning, to control internal noise levels to meet the standards set by WHO and BS 8233:2014.

Manchester City’s Planning Policies place great emphasis on decentralised energy schemes in the City centre. Using our CHP modelling software, the Sustainable Energy Assessment determined that the proposed development would be able to potentially contribute towards a future local district heating scheme and achieve an improvement of at least 15% CO2 emissions based on the predicted energy demand.


See the project sheet here:


Pont Briwet Transportation Improvement Scheme Wins the ICE Wales 2016 Innovation Award

17 08 2016

The annual Institution of Civil Engineers Wales Cymru Awards, celebrates outstanding engineering achievement across the country. The 2016 Awards Ceremony was held at the Marriott Hotel, Cardiff on Friday 17th June and was hosted by ICE President Sir John Armitt, ICE Wales Cymru Chairman David Rowlands and Chairman of the Judges’ Panel, Christopher Craufurd.  Award winners were announced to an audience of more than 250 industry leaders in Wales.

The winner of the Innovation Award was the Pont Briwet Transportation scheme, a £16.5 million rail and highway upgrade including the Pont Briwet viaduct over the Dwyryd estuary in Gwynedd. The scheme had already won the 2016 Transportation Project of the Year by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation of Wales at their annual dinner in January.

The new viaduct replaced a Grade 2 listed timber structure, carrying a single track railway and a single lane toll road. Originally constructed in the 1860s it required a major costly intervention to extend its life span. Speed restrictions of 20 mph were imposed on both road and rail traffic.

The viaduct is a pioneering bridge solution as the longest fully integrated road/rail viaduct in the UK.

A rail halt, again using precast concrete for the majority of the work, was constructed on the south side of the bridge and both approach roads were widened and improved throughout their entire length.

As member of the design team and a key associated organisation, The Stilwell Partnership provided highways and drainage aspects of the civil engineering design of the approach roads and adjacent junction improvements.  This included cycleways and pedestrian access to the new bridge and the rail station.  The civil engineering design included production of Construction Drawings and the Specification for Highway Works.

The judges liked the way in which the scheme fitted into the environment. The use of precast concrete for the majority of the structure resulted in a quicker and safer construction. The removal of single carriageway working and traffic lights has significantly improved the traffic capacity on an important tourist route.

Camera 1 FINAL

Charleston Trust’s Centenary Project

2 03 2016

DSC_1202Charleston is a seventeenth Sussex farmhouse and was home of two of the most
important artists of the twentieth century- Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

The Charleston House was also the country retreat of the Bloomsbury Group, an influential group of writers, intellectuals, publishers and artists. The group included Vanessa Bell’s sister Virginia Woolf and husband Leonard Woolf, economist John Maynard Keynes, art critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell and biographer Lytton Strachey.

The house is the only surviving example of complete interiors by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Following Duncan Grant’s death in 1978, the house fell into disrepair with many of its unique interior painting and decorations deteriorating badly.

The Charleston Trust was registered as a charity in 1980 to restore the house to its original condition and first opened its doors to the public in 1986. In 2011 the Trust launched the £8.5m Centenary Project to safeguard the future of Charleston House.

The Centenary Project, which is due for completion in late December/ early January 2017 included the restoration of two Grade II listed barns to provide a new auditorium and public space together with improvements to the café, office and toilets.

Appointed Civil Engineer, the Stilwell Partnership were pleased to have the opportunity to make a major contribution towards the success of the Centenary Project.

CharlestonBy improving access and parking for an increased number of visitors, the civil engineering improvements would establish a sustainable future for Charleston House whilst reinstating the integrity of its distinctive setting within the South Downs.

The existing site access was narrow, in very poor condition and the proximity to the adjacent watercourse with limited available passing places. The watercourse would require a new culverted road crossing which would divert traffic away from the centre of the site to a new car park, hidden from view.

An overflow car park would be discretely provided in a field nearby. Geotechnical conditions required careful consideration to develop sustainable drainage solutions for the site. The improvements would also need to satisfy the requirements of the Highway Authority and the Environment Agency.

Our civil engineering services provided:

  • The design of the new access road to the new car park
  • The design of the culverting work to the watercourse
  • A Flood Risk Assessment
  • Drainage design for new auditorium and building improvements
  • The assessment and specification of highway repairs to the existing concrete access road from the A27
  • The design of additional passing places to the existing concrete access road
  • The reinforcement of the embankment of the existing stream (using gabion structures) to accommodate the new passing places
  • The design of a new car park for 70 cars
  • The design of a reinforced overflow car park on the existing field for a further 80 cars
  • The design of a reinforced overflow car park on the existing field for a further 80 cars
  • The design of the new drainage system and drainage alterations associated with the above works

And included regular site attendance, supervision and negotiations with the contractors


See full details of the Centenary Project here:

The Stage Development

17 02 2016


The Stage


In the City A.M article 8th February 2016, Catherine Neilan writes “Shakespeare’s former theatre The Curtain now the scene for Galliard Homes’ new development The Stage”:

Galliard Homes has launched its latest development venture of the site of William Shakespeare’s former theatre The Curtain.

The £750m development of the 2.3 acre site, which is being carried out in a joint venture with Cain Hoy, McCourt, Vanke and The Estate Office Shoreditch, will create a new mixed use space that includes a 37 storey residential tower, comprising 412 apartments and penthouses.

Two office buildings will provide more than 257,000 m2 of “blue chip” commercial spaces, cafes, restaurants and shops.

The aptly-named Stage development will lie on top of the land where Romeo & Juliet and Henry V were first performed, just off Curtain Road in Shoreditch. It has been designed by Perkins & Will, with interiors by Argent Design.

The development is designed around a 1.28-acre public square that will “showcase the sunken remains of Shakespeare’s Tudor theatre”, which was discovered in 2011, Galliard said. There will also be a performing arts pavilion, featuring an existing 19th century railway viaduct, on one side of the new square.

The viaduct will be restored with the historic brick arches accommodating 9,000 sqft of new shops and bars fronting the square and the top of the viaduct landscaped into a park with a tea/coffee house overlooking the square.

Construction is expected to begin in April and is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

The Stilwell Partnership played a key role providing Highways and Transportation advice for the development’s Planning Application.

In particular, our practice negotiated enhanced car parking with the London Borough of Hackney for this high profile regeneration project.

Our services included:

  • Transportation and traffic advice
  • Transportation Assessment
  • Travel Plan
  • Car Parking Management Plan
  • Car Park Justification Report
  • Design advice on the car parking, access and servicing areas.

Take a look at our project sheet here

The Stilwell Partnership has proven experience of finding Highways solutions for sensitive Planning Applications. Save time with your Development proposal by contacting us now. Call 0333 700 4001 or email:

See the full City A.M Article here:



Flood Risk and Sustainable Drainage

27 01 2016

Urgent information for Property Developers, Architects and Planning Consultants

Repeated flood events make headlines and maintain pressure on government for action.  Flood events can occur at any time of the year and do so with increasing frequency. The latest areas affected being the North West of England and parts of Scotland over Christmas 2015/16.

Surface water (or pluvial) flooding is the most common type of flooding, and is caused by periods of intensive rainfall or of extended duration.

Sustainable Drainage (techniques that retain surface water runoff on the land where the rain falls) are regarded as an essential part of any planned development.  These techniques reduce the risk of “flash-flooding” which occurs when rainwater rapidly flows into the public sewerage and drainage systems.

The UK government has committed that SuDS (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems) will be a part of all major planning applications from April 6th 2015.

“Defra quietly published Sustainable drainage systems: non-statutory technical standards on the website on 23 March 2015”: (LASOO: The Local Authority SuDS Officer Organisation).  The four page document addressed mainly technical issues relating to the design, maintenance and operation of SuDS.

Previously in December 2014, the Department for Communities and Local Government had announced the intention to publish changes to Planning Guidance that will help to increase the use of the sustainable drainage systems.

In the absence of any specific Planning Guidance appearing to date, LASOO has published their own version, in the form of Practice Guidance, a 32 page document which may be downloaded here

The LASOO document emphasises that flooding and drainage issues should be considered at the earliest opportunity, to a greater level of detail, and at every stage of the Planning process.  The guidance dramatically increases the analysis and design to be covered by the Drainage Strategy; a summary document which sets out how the Developer will address the drainage and flood risk of the site.

The following table summarises the flood risk and drainage information that should be available to the Local Planning Authority at the various stages of the Planning Application.
drainage table

By demanding extended drainage information at the Outline Planning Application Stage, the increasing uptake of the LASOO guidance potentially adds to Developer‘s speculative costs.

The Stilwell Partnership has had extensive experience in the assessment of Flood Risk and the design of SUDS.  From early Flood Risk Assessments for the new PPS25 in 2006, we have produced numerous drainage strategies and detailed SuDS schemes for individual bespoke building projects and major developments.

For local authorities and parish councils we continue to provide a wide range of services.  In 2008, we advised Local Authorities on the implications of the Pitt Report of the Flooding of 2007.  We continue to support Local Authority development control departments by validating design calculations for Planning Applications.  We undertake the engineering design of watercourse improvements and flood alleviation measures.

For Planning Applications, The Stilwell Partnership can offer advice for prospective developments.  This would identify, at the earliest stage, the risks and costs associated with meeting the Local Planning Authority’s requirements.  Contact our offices to discuss your project.