Case Studies

Stortford Fields

SDS provides stormwater attenuation for development of over 2,000 homes.


Stortford Fields is located on the northern fringes of Bishop’s Stortford, on the Hertfordshire / Essex border. The mixed use development will comprise, on completion in 2027, circa 2,200 new homes, a primary school with nursery and relocation of an existing oversubscribed secondary school, as well as a care home, 1,000m2 retail area and a 4 to 5 hectare business park that is expected to create approx. 500 new jobs.

The provision of circa 58 hectares of green open space and the adoption of, and addition to, existing mature trees and hedgerows, as part of a drive to improve the overall diversity of the site, are a key requirement of this development. As well as play areas for children and allotments, new footpaths, cycling routes and bridle ways will also be created.

The first of three major phases comprises of 857 homes, a school, neighbourhood centre and sports pavilion.

How it works

SDS GEOlight® attenuation tanks were installed in May 2018 and sit beneath the schools’ full size football pitch and adjoining junior pitch, which have been designed to provide additional stormwater storage capacity when required. Representing the single largest surface water storage facility yet installed in the UK, the tanks have the capacity to store up to 8,000m3, or 8 million litres, of water.

The pre-existing watercourse, in effect an agricultural ditch which runs through the site, provides a natural feature by which the layout of the development is structured, in order to maximise drainage, recreation and biodiversity benefits within an enhanced, 2,250 metre long green corridor.

A site-wide sustainable drainage scheme linked to the watercourse will improve water levels and water quality in the watercourse as well as provide new riparian habitat such as reed beds and increased plant diversity.



The huge scale of this development demanded that the installation was completed over the course of a number of weeks, requiring SDS to co-ordinate with the different delivery schedules of multiple suppliers to site and the variable progression of associated groundworks.

Steve Pallister, Project Manager, Breheny Civil Engineering: “Due to its sheer size alone the Stortford Fields development provides us with a whole set of new challenges. Planning over the extended timeframe that the project demands adds new complexities to items such as the scheduling of materials deliveries, groundworks and installations. It is vital, therefore, that the specialist suppliers and subcontractors in whom we place our trust deliver not only to the highest standards that we expect but are sufficiently flexible to respond positively and adjust whenever a change to the plan is required. In SDS we have a partner on whose unerring capacity to deliver we can always rely.”


Ownership and maintenance of the public open spaces will be managed by The Land Trust, a national non-profit organisation that is committed to the long term sustainable management of open space for community benefit.

What our other Customers say

The principle of sustainability is fundamental to the development of Westgate Shopping Centre and our adherence to this principle provided our surface water drainage requirements with a number of difficulties to overcome. In close co-operation with SDS we established a unique solution comprising a combination of attenuation tanks, suspended above the basement car park and sandwiched between down stand beams and ground floor slab. Having researched extensively the options available to us it became apparent that only SDS was able to conceive and engineer an effective solution and also undertake its manufacture and installation.

Harry Chetty, Senior Associate Director, Waterman Infrastructure & Environment Ltd.

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