A residential development consisting of conventional low rise domestic houses, the site is situated next to the protected Chesterwell Woodlands to the north of the historic town of Colchester. The plans included several phases, the first being housing with further phases including primary and secondary schools, along with shops and community centre developments.
Mersea Homes received planning permission for this development from Colchester Borough Council after nine years in the planning stage. Local residents concerns were addressed with regards to the greenfield development and the plans required the site to blend in perfectly with the ancient woodlands and rural surroundings and create a sense of place and peace.
To achieve planning consent, the future discharge of rainwater from the proposed scheme to local watercourses had to be regulated. The development needed to offer a sustainable stormwater run-off scheme and any negative impact on the environment had to be minimised. The planning approval included a commitment to protect existing open spaces and create new areas of green space for the wider community. To achieve sufficient rainwater storage, a sizeable attenuation pond was required to blend in with the contours of this shallow valley site. In order to avoid excessive land take, a sympathetic retaining wall system was required to two sides of the pond.
ABG’s in-house Technical Department proposed a curvilinear ABG Webwall geocell facia, reinforced using ABG Trigrid EX geogrid with behind slope structural drainage achieved using ABG Fildrain drainage geocomposite. Webwall geocell is a three dimensional cellular confinement system, that when combined with Trigrid geogrid, reinforces locally won fill material to form a steep retained surface, reducing the requirement to import expensive structural fill. The green front cells are filled with topsoil and then planted with selected plant species.
The initial green face of the Webwall geocell is intended to be fully hidden behind planting, giving the effect of a completely vegetated wall. Specialist installer Geogreen Solutions offered supervision assistance to the contractor during the build.
ABG Technical Department proposed a design for the retaining wall system including a biodiverse finish, a flexible facing and significant material cost saving.
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