Springwell Village Residents Association Meeting – 29 November 2016
Northumbrian Water Q & A Session
Where will the access road to the Hellens site be situated?
The proposed access road is from Mount Lane, on the eastern side of the site. There will be a requirement from the Councils Highway Department to have a separation distance from any existing junctions and we expect this distance to be set at 45 metres from Broom Court.
Does NWL need this access road?
Hellens have requested that an access road is provided to the remainder of their land as if the sale proceeds they will have no highway access to their land. We will also require access to the reservoir for operation and maintenance.
Will Hellens pay for geophysical work on site?
We are paying the costs for all work on the proposed covered reservoir site
Will the proposed reservoir enable Hellens to gain planning permission for housing?
We intend to submit a planning application for the proposed covered reservoir and access road. Any housing development on the remainder of the site Hellens own would have to be considered by the Council under a separate planning application. Decisions on development of greenbelt land are not taken lightly and need to take into account a wide range of factors. If the application for the proposed reservoir and access road is successful this will not affect any future decision regarding housing.
What happens if site investigations reveal anything of archaeological significance?
A specialist team from Durham University are investigating the site and we will act on their expert advice.
What are the risks of sink holes appearing as the reservoir ages?
The specialist advice we have received on the ground conditions has indicated that the risks of a sink hole appearing on the reservoir site is low. The ground conditions are different to our existing storage reservoir site that has become impacted by the development of sinkholes.
How much land have you acquired?
Our proposal is to purchase around ten acres from Hellens.
Is there an existing reservoir near the Engine Room in Eighton Banks?
We do not have a storage reservoir at Eighton Banks. (One of the Springwell residents indicated at the meeting that it is a concrete lined pond linked to an industrial process).
Is the proposed reservoir needed to enable Hellens to build houses?
No, the present supply from Mosswood water treatment works (near Consett) is adequate for any new development. The proposed reservoir will support existing homes in the Washington, Sunderland and South Tyne areas. We had already identified the site at Springwell previously and we were planning to purchase the site. We brought forward our plans to purchase the site when we became aware that the site had been sold to Hellens.
Which reservoir supplies Springwell Village?
Water at Springwell is provided from Mosswood water treatment works, there is storage at the treatment works.
How long will construction of the reservoir take?
Our initial plan was to construct the reservoir in two phases but as we’ve been looking at the design it has become clear that it would be better to complete the construction in one go. It’s too early in the process to give an accurate answer but it’s likely to take around 18 months to 2 years to construct.
Where will construction traffic go?
We will need to develop a plan for access to the site but this will definitely prevent construction traffic passing through the village. We will consult with you on our plans to access the site when we have properly considered the alternatives.
Has NWL bought the site outright?
We have not purchased the land yet but the proposal is for us to own the land outright.
Where will stone from the site be taken?
As our plans are still at an early stage we have not looked at where excess material from the site could be disposed.
How will site excavation be done?
The ground on the proposed site is mostly sandstone which can be excavated using standard equipment (eg JCB type excavator). There should be no need to carry out any blasting.
How deep will the excavations go?
Due to the variation in the ground levels the depth of excavation will vary from about two metres up to around ten metres depth at the deepest point.