Construction work to begin on Northern Gateway development

Construction work to begin on Northern Gateway development

Colchester Borough Council’s ambition to deliver a new, landmark destination for homes and businesses at Colchester Northern Gateway – South (CNGS) takes a major step forward this week as newly-appointed civil engineers, Breheny, start work on site.

Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd (CATL), the council’s commercial trading company, which is project managing the development, today (24 June 2020) formally announced the award of a £3.45 million contract to Ipswich-based Breheny, following a two-stage tender process.

Colchester Borough Council’s Masterplan for the 24-hectare site, located south of junction 28 of the A12, will see the construction of up to 350 new homes, including 30% affordable homes to be retained by the council; a 5-hectare healthcare campus with older persons accommodation of up to 300 units, a private acute surgical hospital and a 75-bed care home, and up to 55,700 sqm of commercial floorspace plus provision for new retail, and food and drink outlets.

The whole development will benefit from an integral digital network providing ultra-fast broadband to homes and businesses.

The development puts greener living and sustainability at the heart of economic growth. It features a carbon-cutting, Renewable Heat Network to supply heat and hot water to homes and businesses; bio-retention ponds to manage surface water and runoff from rainfall; extensive tree and shrub planting to support and encourage biodiversity and green open spaces for relaxation and leisure.

Breheny’s team of engineers and construction workers will deliver the first phase of infrastructure across the western section of the site. This is due to complete in September 2020 and will include:

  • Construction of ‘The Walk’ – a tree-lined, pedestrian thoroughfare to link existing residential areas situated east and north-east of the site with the future leisure development west of the site. Running through the centre of the development, it will accommodate walking, jogging and cycling and have associated landscaping, street furniture and facilities to provide opportunities for relaxing, socialising, exercise and play.
  • Installation of piping and cables for the District Heat Network. The first of its kind to be used on this scale in the UK, it requires extensive infrastructure to connect the District Heat Network’s Energy Centre to boreholes that will supply water from the chalk aquifer below Colchester to a heat pump.
  • Installation of fibre lines along ‘The Walk’ and access roads to ensure that households and businesses across the development and beyond will benefit from direct access to gigabit fibre broadband.
  • Construction of the western access road with all associated infrastructure and drainage.
  • Provision of infrastructure for surface water systems including bio-retention ponds for the management of surface water and rainfall run-off.

Councillor Theresa Higgins, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, said: “We are delighted to welcome Breheny on board to begin the first phase of works on this ambitious project. Our thanks go to all those residents and businesses who contributed to the shaping of the area through our public consultations. Together we have forged an exceptional development which puts the well-being of residents, the prosperity of our local economy and the protection of the environment at its heart.”

The vision for Colchester Northern Gateway South has been well supported by central government following successful bids from Amphora Trading to secure:

  • £3.5 million ‘Heat Networks Investment Project’ from Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for the development and construction of a low carbon district heating system to ensure that the development is sustainable and fit for the future;
  • £3.3 million under the Government’s Local Full-Fibre Network (LFFN) programme, to roll out new ultrafast broadband networks across the Northern Gateway and town centre.

Paul Smith, Group Commercial Director, Colchester Commercial Holdings Ltd, added: “We welcome the start of this first major phase of construction work at CNGS and look forward to working with Breheny who have 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.”

Development of Colchester Northern Gateway – South follows the start of works at Colchester northern Gateway – North, where the Northern Gateway Sports Park is now in development. The 76-acre sports and leisure facility will feature a multi-use sports centre with indoor cricket, fitness suite, exercise and spin studios, a café and meeting rooms; a 1-mile floodlit, cycle track; new state-of-the-art rugby facilities, two all-weather pitches, additional grass pitches and an archery range.

John Breheny, Chairman of Breheny said: “We are looking forward to working collaboratively with the team on the CNGS project to help benefit the local community.”

For further information visit: www.northerngatewaycolchester.co.uk/breheny-contract