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Earth Environmental & Geotechnical Ltd Newsletter




Due to our continued expansion we have moved to larger and more prestigious Regus operated offices, Houldsworth Mill Business & Arts Centre, on the outskirts of Stockport.

Houldsworth Mill, also known as Reddish Mill, is a former cotton mill that was built in 1865.

Designed by Abraham Stott, it was constructed for Henry Houldsworth, a prominent wealthy mill owner at the time. 

This mill was converted by Stephenson Bell architects and provides seventy shared apartments, start-up units for emerging high-technology and arts based businesses with commercial and leisure uses at the lower floors to provide active frontages.

It is currently a Grade II listed building.

Our new address and contact details are:

Houldsworth Business & Arts Centre
Houldsworth Street
Tel 0161 975 6088

The photograph below shows a recent sunset looking towards Manchester City Centre.


Bat Surveys

We have recently been procured to conduct a large number of Bat Surveys as part of planning application submissions for new residential and commercial developments.

Many preliminary roost assessments have been undertaken in roof void areas looking for evidence of the presence of bats, including droppings, urine splashes, feeding remains and live or dead bats. 

Habitats in the surrounding area are also routinely assessed for their value to bats using aerial imagery and by conducting walkover surveys.  The potential of buildings to support roosting bats is made using professional judgement based on criteria described in Mitchell-Jones (2004).

Chester Road Brickworks, St. Helens

We have been appointed to develop a Remediation Strategy for a former Ibstock brickworks site, surrounded by several large recently closed domestic landfill sites. 

With the aid of a landfill gas risk assessment planning permission was recently secured for the development.

Future work will involve the regrading of the site in accordance with a CL:AIRE Code of Practice Material Management Plan (MMP) in order to form suitable development platforms.

The Rock, Telford

We are conducting a site investigation in Telford on a backfilled former coal opencast quarry.

A new retail store is planned to be partially constructed on the highwall of the former opencast and therefore the site investigation has focussed on the delineation of the development constraint.

A series of cable percussive boreholes and trial pits have been planned together with geotechnical and chemical testing of the colliery fill.

The preferred foundation solution is one of vibro-stone columns to support a ground bearing slab and foundation loadings.
Flood Risk & SUDS Assessments, Housing Sites, Colne

We have been recently commissioned to provide flood risk and SUDS assessment for new affordable housing schemes in Colne.

Soakaway testing has been undertaken in accordance with BRE365 to allow for estimation of soil infiltration rates.

Future work will involve supporting the client with foundation design work and other submissions during the discharge of planning conditions.

Binnacle Way, Portsmouth

We are assisting our client with a novel solution to the construction of a new retail development in Portsmouth.  Previous site investigation reports have suggested the adoption of a suspended ground floor slab and transfer of foundation loadings to chalk strata by use of driven/bored piles.

A novel foundation solution is being developed involving soil mixing to allow for a ground bearing slab and shallow foundations to be used.

Our work involves calculating the likely settlement from the new loadings and field verification of the load bearing characteristics of the new footings.
Nottingham Slope Stability

Following a site investigation for design of foundations we were appointed to conduct a slope stability assessment on a narrow tract of land, adjacent to a former brickworks quarry edge.

The concern was that the planned residential development could trigger slope instability due to construction and foundation loadings.

A slope stability assessment was provided by use of SLIDE software integrating a probabilistic Monte Carlo simulation of the stability, by using a distribution of soil parameters.

The assessment proved that the existing slope was stable, confirming field evidence, and that in the long term no adverse effects were likely from the new housing development.
Castleshsaw Reservoir, Delph

We were very excited to have been appointed to assist with planned earthworks on a reservoir dam near Oldham.

An existing wave wall is being grouted and supported by a concrete plinth that keys into a dam clay cut-off wall.

Our work has involved us assisting in the design of the remedial measures and recording progress of the construction work.

Work is planned to continue until late November 2016 and will require us visiting the site on a weekly basis to record ground conditions in excavated trenches.

Crosshill Avenue, Glasgow

A site investigation has recently been conducted on a vacant area of ground forming a large rear garden.  The investigation was triggered by planning permission which required an assessment of the coal mining risk and assessment of potential soil contamination.

Unexpected ground conditions were encountered with very soft to soft laminated clays beneath a 3m cover of competent clays.  Due to the presence of large nearby trees and the presence of very weak ground a piled solution was initially considered to be the most appropriate solution. 

However due to the depth of rockhead in the area a more challenging design solution is being considered, with a raft foundation resting upon the competent clay horizon.
River Ouse, York

A site investigation was requested to assess ground conditions adjacent to the River Ouse in York, where a new fish pass is being planned.

A series of cable percussive and window sampling boreholes (including dynamic probing) were drilled to assess ground conditions and allowed for assessment of geotechnical parameters.

All work was undertaken with strict environmental controls due to the proximity of the river.
New Retaining Wall, Holywell

A recent instruction required us mobilize to site within three days in order to assess ground conditions in the service area of a retail store.  A planned extension to the store, involving the construction of a new bakery, required the assessment of ground conditions within the store extension area, where a new retaining wall is required.

The borehole logs were provided to the structural engineer within twenty four hours of the completion of the fieldwork, with the logs also provided to a sheet piling contractor at the same time.

Coal Mining Investigations, Bristol

We have recently been commissioned to conduct a series of site investigations following the completion of Coal Mining Risk Assessments.  Coal Mining Risk Assessments are required for planning applications in Coal Authority Development High Risk Areas.

These reports often identify potential shallow unrecorded workings associated with outcropping coal seams.  The estimation of subsidence risk to structures can only be reliably determined by drilling.

Some of the sites have proved to be logistically difficult due to access restrictions, services and the need to control flush water by use of re circulation tanks. 

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