Careys Civil Engineering is currently engaged as Principal Contractor to deliver a multi-phase package of works for the Graven Hill Village Development Company. Once completed, the Oxfordshire site will comprise 1400 homes along with infrastructure and varying classifications of retail and entertainment structures. Our team has successfully completed Phase 0 ‘The Demonstrator’ and is proceeding with Phase 1A, comprising earthworks, drainage, road installation and varying landscaping works.

Located on the outskirts of Bicester in Oxfordshire, Graven Hill is currently occupied by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD). Over the next five years the MoD will be vacating the majority of the site, allowing for the development of an extensive housing development to be built over a four year period.

Phase 0 works commenced in March 2016, the purpose of which was to showcase the buildability of the scheme and devise solutions for any potential issues prior to main works start in Phase 1. Following successful completion of this Phase, we were awarded the contract for Phase 1A, which commenced the construction of a balancing pond, the installation of 240 manholes, 19km of drainage and 22,000m2 of varying surface finishes which were completed in late 2017.

Out team was also awarded a two-year contract to deliver landscaping works, including Section 38 works comprising the design and build of roads of varying makeups, installation of street furniture and lighting and a £1m contract to deliver construction of woodland play areas, ponds, viewing decks, boardwalks and bridges.

As part of our value engineering works, testing is being carried out on multiple sections of the route to determine the most cost-effective use of construction materials. In addition to this, the site team is using engineered fill to negate the use of 39,000m3 of imported quarried material.

As part of the project, a range of wildlife protection measures have been implemented, including an extensive tree clearance programme which is due to be completed between the end of one nesting season and the start of the next. The site itself has been home to a range of wildlife, including colonies of bats, owls and newts which have been transferred to another suitable habitat. Our team was able to identify an opportunity to process waste timber from the site using a local contractor, who resold this as fuel to generate electricity from a biomass power scheme.

A potential complication was created due to the close proximity of the active MoD facility, St. David’s, which is the main barracks of the Royal Logistical Corp. As MoD personnel regularly use the area around the site, careful stakeholder management has been put in place to allow works to continue without impeding base operations.

Images courtesy of Oxford Archaeology

Graven Hill Village Development Company
Principal Contractor
Careys Civil Engineering
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