Jaguar Land Rover Solihull
SuDS scheme provides market leading environmental credentials
Jaguar Land Rover continues to set record sales years and, with a new saloon arriving this year and a new sports car planned for 2016, sales are expected to continue to rise. The plant at Solihull accounts for just under half of the company’s 350,000 vehicle production in the UK and, with the number of employees set to grow from the current 6,000 to almost 8,000 in line with the increased production volume, it is a major contributor to the West Midlands’ regional economy.
The new car distribution facility is required to accommodate the increased production that is necessary to satisfy the growing global demand for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles and represents the company’s largest single investment in the Solihull plant since it was first built in 1948. Significant investment in the plant has already been made to modernise, rationalise and improve the efficiencies of production; the existing despatch area, however, at just 8 acres in size (compared to over 60 acres at the Honda Swindon and 100 acres at the Nissan Sunderland plants), was considered no longer fit for purpose.
Construction of the £18 million development began in 2014 and the facility will be in full operation by July 2015. SDS was required to ensure that all vehicles could be held in the storage and despatch facility without risk of damage or soiling by extraneous weather conditions.
How it works
Comprising a network of 22 SDS GEOlight® underground water storage reservoirs, together with multiple vortex flow control devices and by-pass separators, the scheme has the capacity to capture over 6 million litres of surface water run-off from heavy, prolonged rainfall. By providing the 100,000m2 site with the appropriate drainage facilities, SDS’s GEOlight® system removes the risk of creating or exacerbating a flooding problem and of polluting local watercourses and surrounding land.
The scheme’s market sector leading environmental credentials are especially important as the site is located on former agricultural land and continues to drain into two pre-existing man-made ponds which also serve to drain surface water from the surrounding fields. Ditches that had previously crossed the site have either been left open or converted to culverts under parking areas where the site layout permits; this mimics the pre-existing situation by maintaining peak flows through the ditches into a brook.
The development has been carried out in accordance with the approved Flood Risk Assessment including limiting the surface water run-off generated by the ‘critical storm’ (1 in 100 year plus climate change) so that it will not exceed the run-off from the undeveloped site nor increase the risk of flooding off-site.
The project has not been without its challenges; in the face of substantial public resistance to the development, SDS was able to produce detailed plans for a surface water drainage scheme that is in accordance with the Solihull Local Plan and could be duly approved by the Local Planning Authority.
Reflecting its ‘greenfield’ location, the site was imposed with a very low rate of discharge by local planners; through using its own in-house expertise in drainage design, SDS worked alongside URS, the project engineers, to achieve the required discharge rate.
In addition to the drainage measures, the facility has required alterations to be made to public highways, the construction of a bridge over a main road, and the addition of boundary treatments, planting and new lighting.
As part of the plan to protect white-clawed crayfish (identified under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan 2008) within and adjacent to the development site, the scheme satisfies stringent water quality criteria prior to the treated water finally leaving the site.
SDS has carried out the works within an exceptionally tight time frame and has delivered its contribution without compromise.
Matthew Richardson, Engineering Consultant at AECOM (URS), summarises the value that SDS has added to the project: “SDS was instrumental in securing planning approval by designing a bespoke SuDS solution that was able to meet stringent discharge rates; through the prevention of flooding, by using source control techniques to manage the run-off from the site, any impact on the receiving watercourses is kept to an absolute minimum.”
Comprising hard standing for 970 vehicles and almost 4,000m2 of buildings, the new vehicle storage and distribution facility will operate 24/7 and represents Jaguar Land Rover’s largest single investment in the Solihull plant since it was first built in 1948.