Interim Client & Outline Design Award
The Wattstown project is part of a larger project to design and obtain planning approval for roads at three of Invest Northern Ireland’s (Invest NI) industrial estates. The design for Wattstown, in Coleraine, includes two new roads with associated services and street lighting to release 11.7 acres of land for serviced sites, which Invest NI sell to client companies hoping to expand their business.
Project Environmental Management
Specific targets were set out during the design process for the environmental performance of the project during construction and operation, and designs have adhered to statutory stakeholder requirements. The finished scheme will be adopted by Roads Service and NI Water, who will be responsible for the environmental operation of the road extension.
The scheme involves the extension of an existing roadway, which imposes a constraint on the road geometry. However, the layout of roads and services allows for flexibility in the design of future development adjacent to the roadway.
The site has been zoned for industrial use and is partly developed at present. The road extension will enable future industrial units to be developed, providing access to land of commercial value and of benefit to the community by offering employment opportunities.
The area is adjacent to existing industrial development and zoned for industrial use. As such, no community or private space is present within the vicinity of the proposal.
Land form and levels will remain consistent with the existing road structure and vertical alignment will maintain as low a profile as possible. Therefore the finished road will have minimum impact on the surrounding topography.
Archaeological and cultural heritage
A desktop study and site investigation were undertaken for archaeology and the relevant bodies have been notified of the findings.
The drainage design was completed using industry best practice, and has been approved by NI Water and Rivers Agency in relation to layout and consent to discharge to the adjacent watercourse. To prevent pollution, foul and surface water will be separated, and to reduce flood risk separate drainage systems will be installed for road surface run-off and for surface drainage from development sites.
Silt trap manholes have been specified to reduce the risk of downstream pollution. A manhole is located close to the discharge point to the receiving watercourse to allow sampling of the storm water discharge if required.
Some existing drainage ditches are to be cleaned out as part of the works to improve the natural drainage regime of the area.
The specification for the street lighting lamp type is based on long life while meeting the requirements of performance and economy.
Material Use and Waste Minimisation
The pavement design is in accordance with the Specification for Highways Works and BS EN standards. The vertical alignment is being kept to a minimum, thus maintaining as low a profile as possible and minimising earthwork requirements.
A balanced cut & fill strategy determined that all of the excavated material can be re-used within the works, and excavated topsoil can be re-used within the landscaping of the project. The majority of the materials used in the construction of the roads are suitable for future re-use.
An ecological walk-over of the site was carried out to identify habitats and any protected species present. This survey identified the area affected by the proposed road extension to be of limited ecological value and concluded that the proposals would not impact upon protected species.
Nuisance to Neighbours
Potentially affected parties were notified of the proposals during the planning approval stage. Standard construction methods are envisaged, which should not generate significant noise, and the completed proposals should not significantly increase existing noise levels.
The planning application process has notified neighbours of the proposed development. All statutory authorities and utility companies were consulted.
In order to provide a higher degree of user comfort and enjoyment, and to take account of people with pushchairs and wheelchairs, 2-metre-wide footpaths are incorporated along with dropped kerbs, designated pedestrian crossing points and low gradients. Tactile-pavement crossing points have been incorporated in the design to take account of people who are visually impaired.