Giving the former Woolston Boys' School site a new lease of life
In September 2017, we began work on a new development in our native Hampshire – a £1 million groundworks infrastructure deal to create 50 new residential units on a disused school site in Woolston, Southampton. Regional property developer, Hampshire Homes, awarded the contract.
Before groundwork could get underway, the site first had to be cleared of the existing school building. Once the safe and controlled demolition had taken place, our Mackoy gangs were able to move in to start phase one of the earthworks: getting the site entirely cleared of any remaining debris, removing top soil layers, and putting the final preparations in place for foundation setting out to start.
Establishing Ashton Walk's new three- and four-bedroom homes
Unlike some of the large-scale sites our groundwork operatives have helped bring to fruition, the Woolston plot occupied a triangular area on a busy main road junction, and was bordered by established residential housing on all three sides. This meant the plans called for absolute precision when it came to the position of the units on the plot, likewise with the access roads, gardens and parking the Mackoy team were brought in to develop.
Each home's foundation had to be meticulously cross-checked during the setting out stage, ensuring the full 50 plots were in their agreed location, in accordance with the local authority's approval of the site plans. We used chalk marking along with corner pegging at each stage of this vital process, only commencing excavations once the footprint had been fully approved. We replicated this process in our work to create the essential sewer infrastructure, which is required to take waste water away from each new home – in line with environmental regulations.
Contributing to Woolston's regeneration
Woolston borders the River Itchen, and the borough was once home to the city's most thriving shipbuilder, Vosper Thornycroft. However, when the company left Woolston after 500 years in order to relocate to Portsmouth in 2003, the area was left with large amounts of disused land and went into decline. But, in recent years, homebuilders such as Hampshire Homes have substantially rejuvenated the area with a wave of new developments, including Ashton Walk, thereby boosting Woolston's local housing stock.
This new interest in the area has attracted businesses back into Woolston, including fashionable bars and restaurants – all of which Ashton Walk residents can access within minutes. Furthermore, Southampton's iconic Itchen Bridge connects this part of the city to its main centre and railway station – just a quick car journey across the water.