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25 November 2019

UK: Hounslow new park ground survey begins

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
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Pictured left-right: Dave Hatton of Concept Consultants and Ben Weller of Arup, Julie Gates, Nicholas King and Richard Jones of Formal Investments at Rectory Farm

Work has begun on detailed ground investigation and survey works at Rectory Farm, preparing for the making of a new public park for the West London borough of Hounslow, whilst extracting minerals to create sunken warehousing space which will attract thousands of new jobs.

The grassed 110 acres alongside The Parkway and Bath Road has been mown and the whole site will be comprehensively surveyed with around 40 boreholes drilled. Authority to commence the work was delayed due to a legal challenge, but despite that it is now underway.

The boreholes and trial pits will remove samples of the ground up to 50 metres depth underneath Rectory Farm. Their analysis will create a detailed profile of the distribution and depths of the layers of topsoil, gravel, sand and clay, together with the groundwater regime at the site. The quality of the aggregates to be extracted will also be gauged.

Along with a topographical survey of the site and nearby roads, plus mapping utilities such as drainage, the analysis will inform how the extraction, construction and formation of the new park will proceed.

The surveying will include the nearby junction 3 of the M4, where the project is funding improvements as part of the planning agreement with London Borough of Hounslow.

Nicholas King, director of the landowner, Formal Investments, said: “Local residents, who have consistently approved of our ambitious vision for Rectory Farm, will be pleased to see the first steps being taken towards the creation of their new park and thousands of new jobs.

“Finding out exactly what is under Rectory Farm will enable our team to plan the phasing of the subsequent work and to identify the first areas of park that can be landscaped and opened for local people to enjoy. We thank them for their patience and their continued support.

“We remain very engaged with local community groups and residents’ associations, including Heston West Big Local, Heston Residents Association and Heston Action Group. We look forward to their energetic and enthusiastic input into the design of the park and its ongoing management.”

Blighted by years of antisocial behaviour, fly tipping, trespassing and vandalism, Rectory Farm will be transformed into the largest new park in West London for more than 100 years. Letting the warehouse space will fund the development and maintenance of the park and attract up to 2,500 new jobs.

The ground works and exploration are expected to last six months, after which the project team will embark on a two year programme of work leading up to the appointment of a main contractor. Further information about the project can be found at rectory-farm.com