We are currently undertaking a number of tasks in preparation for the main infrastructure works to commence in January 2021. The tasks comprise of investigations and surveys to inform the design process and satisfy a number of planning conditions. We will also be relocating various items of equipment, such as a communications mast, so that utilities are not disrupted during the construction phase.
We are employing specialist contractors and consultants to undertake these tasks who are being coordinated by our Main Contractor – Winvic. A temporary compound area has been provided adjacent to the A508 to provide parking and welfare for those working on the site during the summer.
During these site preparation works the public right of ways will remain open but protected from the site operations via temporary fencing.
As a company we are carefully monitoring the situation regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, with the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, communities, business partners and customers being of utmost importance.
During this period every company and individual in the UK is expected to comply at all times with the latest advice on COVID-19 from the Government and Public Health England. As such, the contractors on the Northampton Gateway development will be working in line with agreed operating procedures to protect themselves, their colleagues, their families and the wider UK population and to minimise the risk of the spread of infection. These include measures to implement social distancing, considering how personnel travel to and from the site and processes to monitor and review compliance.
The Museum of London Archaeology Northampton are undertaking trial trenching to determine the extents of the archaeological remains within the site. Once that is complete, they will commence a series of archaeological excavations. We anticipate that these excavations could take several months. All of the archaeological work will be monitored by the archaeological advisor to Northamptonshire County Council. Once the excavations have been completed, the results will be collated in a publicly available publication report. After all work has been completed, the archive from the excavations, including the artefacts, will be deposited with the local museums service.
Ecological surveys carried out in support of the planning application identified a number of ecological receptors that require further work as part of the development. During 2020 a range of ecological surveys will be carried out, including; bats, badgers, great crested newts, reptiles, riparian mammals and birds. These surveys will be used to design mitigation measures and inform a number of mitigation license applications to Natural England to enable enhancements for the species to be made. Ecologists from FPCR Environment & Design Ltd. will be present on site during the day and late at night to undertake this work. The results of surveys carried out under license will be submitted to local biological records centers and available to the public from that source.
Hydrock Consultants are on site, undertaking a detailed ground investigation. These works are to expand on the already existing database of information and provide the required parameters to allow design works to be completed.
The scope of the investigation will employ a number of different techniques, including wheeled excavators, tripod drilling rigs as well as more specialist equipment mobilised on tracks. All of this equipment is designed to investigate and recover samples of the soils present on site, down to depths of 30m. Samples are being taken for logging and testing.
The likely equipment visible on site will range from 4 x 4 vehicles, tracked dumpers, towed water bowsers, tripod drill rigs and self-propelled drilling rigs which utilise tracks. The presence on site of this equipment will be for several months, and most likely at least 16 weeks on site.
Traffic to and from site will be limited in the main to site staff attending site, as well as the delivery of equipment and supplies.
The areas of work will be separated by temporary fencing.
During the autumn of 2020, some temporary highway works on the A508 will be carried out in advance of the main works commencing to provide safe access to the development for construction works. Further details will be provided nearer the time.