New garden suburb
Handley Gardens is part of the new garden suburb for Maldon in Essex. The ambition as outlined in the local plan was for the new community to be “a high quality, vibrant and distinctive new neighbourhood which is well integrated with the surrounding communities.” When complete, Handley Gardens will consist of 606 two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes together with a new primary school, early years facility, a sports pavilion and shops and in addition, residents will benefit from the site’s location adjacent to two wildlife sites, Maldon Wick and Wyche Meadow.
At Handley Gardens, GTC is responsible for installing and owning all the utility networks for the development – gas, electricity, ultrafast fibre, water and wastewater. This delivered obvious advantages through the procurement phase and having a single project manager to co-ordinate the design and scheduling of all the utilities. At Handley Gardens, the site presented a number of challenges regarding the design and implementation of the utility networks which required expertise and flexibility to overcome.
Gigabit fibre broadband
Homeowners at Handley Gardens will benefit from gigabit fibre broadband. GTC’s network is open access, with a choice of ISPs, allowing homeowners to choose the services – data, voice, TV, and Sky TV; the speed; and the customer service standards that meet their needs and budget. The Fibre Integrated Reception System (FIRS) installed by GTC uses a single satellite dish and aerial array for satellite TV (including Sky Q), Freeview and DAB radio. This means that only a single satellite dish is needed for the entire development.
GTC has a long-established relationship with Taylor Wimpey East London.
Off-site mains laying
At most developments, the site’s networks are connected to the mains at the boundary of the site. Here, it was necessary for GTC to carry out substantial amounts of off-site laying. 3.6km of HV mains had to be laid with two HV connections to UKPN’s existing HV network. In addition, 150m of UKPN’s network had to be overlaid to reinforce it, with a further four connections. The site required three substations, one of which also housed the fibre network equipment. The gas network, too, required circa 300m of off-site mains laying. GTC handled all the required co-ordination with UKPN and the local authority.
New pumping station
Whilst the water connection for the site was straightforward, the wastewater solution was complex. GTC was able to support the client at joint meetings with Anglian Water, the incumbent wastewater service provider. GTC’s advice resulted in the developer offering to install a waste storage facility on the site and Anglian Water agreeing to pay for and adopt their pumping station. This saved the developers around £3million and the local community a considerable amount of disruption by making the reinforcement of Anglian Water’s existing sewerage network unnecessary.