Case Studies

The Quarry

SDS GEOlight protects new residential development from flooding.


Helping to meet the demands for additional outer London housing, “The Quarry” is the redevelopment of a former landfill site into a 600-home residential complex and 630-place 3-form primary school. Spanning approximately 20 hectares, the site was originally mined for gravel and loam, subsequently used as a landfill site for bricks, masonry and other inert building materials and finally lay neglected to become overgrown with brambles and invasive Japanese knotweed.

The site is designated a Grade One Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and benefits from the Thames Gateway Regeneration Scheme; it must therefore reflect a careful balance between ecology and development (by providing a generous proportion of play space, open space and ecology areas).


How it works

No development is permitted to take place in these ‘ecology rich’ areas other than the provision of footpaths and cycle-ways and the construction of sustainable drainage features, including wet ponds and swales, to manage surface water drainage and promote biodiversity.

SDS GEOlight® attenuation tanks, with a combined capacity to store up to 6,070m3 of water, have been installed beneath new wet pond features including three low level lakes and an area of natural grassland and scrub, surrounded by small wooded areas. These ‘wildlife areas’ provide a habitat for notable protected species including newts, lizards and slow worms.

Due to its historic use, the site has a unique topography, with level changes from north to south varying between 5 metres and 35 metres towards the east and west; this created challenges for access, internal roads and the drainage systems which were successfully overcome.


The 3.5 hectare ecology area will be managed with a “hands-off” approach by a designated management company, protecting them from further deterioration and allowing the ecological value to be conserved.

Ben Rayner, Principal Engineer at Stomor Group with whom SDS collaborated on this project: ”SDS helped us to engineer a successful SuDS outcome at an extremely challenging brownfield location. SDS GEOlight® tanks were integral to the drainage solution, providing attenuation to meet the very low site discharge rate on a steeply-sloping site with limited space and no opportunity to infiltrate. Using below-ground storage in conjunction with surface water drainage features facilitated the environmental and wildlife benefits above-ground, while achieving sufficient surface water storage necessary to satisfy planning requirements at this sensitive location.

Developers Anderson Design & Build, who specialise in the redevelopment of problematic sites and land, describe the development:

‘The Quarry weaves together a new community through its contemporary homes and wealth of open space, providing an ecology area, play and eco corridors and a village green style area to enjoy.’

What our other Customers say

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.

Steve Pallister, Project Manager, Breheny Civil Engineering.

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