Construction begins on town’s landmark scheme
PUBLISHED: 04:06 08 July 2020
A new business and housing gateway project for Colchester has taken a big step forward as civil engineers begin work on the 24 hectare site.
Needham Market-based civil engineers Breheny – which scooped a £3.45m contract following a two-stage tender process – has begun work on Colchester Northern Gateway – South (CNGS).
The project is being managed by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd (CATL), Colchester Borough Council’s commercial trading company.
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The council’s masterplan for the site, which lies to the south of junction 28 of the A12, includes the construction of up to 350 new homes. Around a third of these will be affordable homes retained by the council, and the entire campus will include ultra-fast broadband to homes and businesses.
A 5-hectare healthcare campus for older people will include up to 300 units, a private acute surgical hospital and a 75-bed care home.
The site is also set to include up to 55,700sq m of commercial floorspace, plus room for new retail, and food and drink outlets.
The scheme will feature a Renewable Heat Network to supply heat and hot water to homes and businesses, bio-retention ponds to manage surface water and runoff from rainfall, trees and shrubs and green open spaces for relaxation and leisure.
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Breheny’s team of engineers and construction workers will deliver the first phase of infrastructure across the western section of the site, which is due to be completed in September 2020.
Its work will include the construction of ‘The Walk’ – a tree-lined, pedestrian thoroughfare to link existing residential areas with future leisure schemes, infrastructure, drainage and a broadband fibre network.
Breheny will also be installing pipes and cables for the District Heat Network, the first of its kind to be used on this scale in the UK. Boreholes will supply water from a chalk aquifer below Colchester to a heat pump.
The company will also build in surface water systems including bio-retention ponds.
Councillor Theresa Higgins, who is responsible for commercial services at the council, said it was “delighted” to welcome Breheny on board.
Breheny chairman John Breheny said: “We are looking forward to working collaboratively with the team on the CNGS project to help benefit the local community.”
Paul Smith, group commercial director at Colchester Commercial Holdings, said Breheny had an “outstanding” track record in civil engineering projects of this scale.
“This development will put Colchester firmly on the region’s map as an outstanding location to live and do business and we are working closely with our partners from the private and public sectors to bring it to fruition.”
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