Innovative design from Metropolitan provides solution to challenging wastewater requirements

By thinking 'outside the box', and working closely with owner Land Securities' Development Manager, Camland Developments, Metropolitan has provided an affordable solution to the problematic wastewater requirements of the Castle Hill development, the first phase of the new town being built in Ebbsfleet, Kent. The proposal to design and build an onsite wastewater treatment plant resolved cost and technical issues which might otherwise have stalled the entire development.

The Castle Hill site posed significant challenges in connecting to the existing sewerage network. The area’s protected groundwater status led the Environment Agency (EA) to stipulate that the new treatment plant be installed above ground. Metropolitan's proposed installation of a site treatment plant, was a cost-effective solution which enabled the development to progress. The onsite plant will deliver a controlled release of treated wastewater, meeting EA exacting standards to protect the environment. The first stage of construction has just commenced and the plant should be fully operational by late 2017.

The treatment plant is just one element of the multi-utility solution to be delivered by Metropolitan, the leading independent energy and utility provider, with gas, electricity and potable water also being installed. This integrated approach by Metropolitan means the developer will only deal with a single partner from design through to installation of these particular utilities, profiting thereby from significant cost and project management efficiencies.

Announced in the March 2014 Budget, Ebbsfleet Valley was hailed as the UK's first new garden city in almost 100 years. Castle Hill will consist of 1500 homes surrounding a neighbourhood garden with green spaces, public meeting places, trees and pathways; a new school; and a community centre: all of which will be served by the wastewater treatment plant under the contract awarded by Camland Developments Ltd on behalf of Land Securities. IWNL (Independent Water Networks Ltd), part of the same multi-utility family as Metropolitan, will own the treatment plant and the water and wastewater networks on site, having been granted a NAV (New Appointment Variation) to do so by Ofwat, thereby ensuring Metropolitan's long-term commitment to the development.

Jonathan Levy, Development Director at Land Securities, believes that the inclusion of the site treatment plant is a clear example of the innovation that Metropolitan can deliver, and said: "The Castle Hill site presented us with a unique set of challenges which Metropolitan’s fresh thinking enabled us to overcome. Their ability to devise innovative yet affordable solutions, added to the advantages of dealing with just one supplier for all the basic utilities, made them an obvious choice for this important contract."
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