The ABP Salisbury Plain construction programme is part of the government’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review commitment to bring all units back from Germany and is being delivered by ADCW at Larkhill, Bulford, Tidworth and Perham Down.
By providing housing and facilities to support the return of circa 4,300 British Army soldiers and their families to the MoD’s Salisbury Plain encampments, the programme will enable nearly 100 Army units to relocate, reconfigure, disband or re-role and, in the process, produce savings increasing to £240 million per year.
Salisbury Plain is a protected habitat of international value and renowned as an historic landscape with many designated heritage assets. The area in and around Salisbury Plain hosts a number of camps, many of which are adjacent to settlements – these include Warminster, Bulford, Tidworth, Perham Down, Upavon and Larkhill.
WHAT WE DID
Flood risk assessments were completed in accordance with the NPPF for the majority of sites and SuDS were identified in the initial planning stages as a prerequisite for the developments.
Working with Veolia Water acting on behalf of Aspire Defence Capital Works (ADCW) in support of their client, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, SDS implemented, over an extended period of several years, a series of surface water drainage systems, largely comprising of GEOlight® attenuation tanks and soakaways. Most of the new construction sites were located on undeveloped land with no existing foul water / surface water drainage networks within the boundaries of the site.
The new drainage systems underpinned the construction of new camp facilities whilst also supporting building alterations, extensions, refurbishments and demolitions.
The £1.644 billion programme has been described by the MoD as a project of ‘unprecedented scale’ and has received both the Sanctuary Sustainable Project and Sustainable Business Awards.
The new developments were required to seek opportunities to enhance biodiversity. In particular, these must include measures to deliver biodiversity gains through opportunities to restore, enhance and create valuable habitats, ecological networks and ecosystem services.
The Plain is also the largest surviving area of unimproved chalk down-land in north-western Europe and is a protected habitat of international value. As a government department, the MoD is statutory obligated to protect the habitats and the species that this supports. Full compliance of all SDS-installed drainage systems with stringent environmental measures was therefore of critical importance to the client.