Local charity, Dorothy House Hospice Care in Winsley celebrated the opening of their new car park extension recently completed by MJ Church Civil Engineering. In mid-January, the car park construction project team met on site to see the car park officially opened to patients, visitors, staff and volunteers. The new 71 space car park extension brings the total number of parking spaces up to 174 at Dorothy House, enabling patients, families, visitors, staff and volunteers to park more easily.

The car park construction team included Alison Bruce and Haylie Carr from Dorothy House’s Estates and Facilities Team, quantity surveyor Jake Moss of Ridge who managed the project along with Stephen Daniels, Project Manager and Kunle Oluwasola, Quantity Surveyor. Also on the team were, Technical and Transport consultants WYG, planning consultant Stuart Rackham and designers James McGillivray and Simeon Spencer of NVB Architects and Ryan Carroll of Design for Lighting.

Dorothy House provides palliative and end of life care and support for people with a life-limiting illness, their families or carers both in the community and at the main hospice in Winsley. The charity’s services have grown significantly in recent years resulting in the Winsley site outgrowing its previous car parking capacity. With its edge of village and semi-rural location, key issues facing the project team included maintaining a ‘green’ car park to meet Wiltshire Council planning conditions within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The car park build achieved high levels of sustainability with high standards set by the Dorothy House Trust and the project remained sensitive to the needs of local residents and the local habitat throughout.

Dorothy House’s car park extension has been constructed on a field which was two metres below the existing car parks and access. Planning conditions also required that the car park was not visible from across the valley between Upper Westwood and Murhill / Winsley. Both of these factors meant there was significant earthworks on site to allow for construction of an access road and the installation of ‘Grasscrete.’ Grasscrete is a concrete, heavy-duty, cellular grassed paving system that allows cars to park without impacting the grass substructure and maintaining a grassed car park.

The ground conditions also meant that MJ Church needed to remove significant amounts of rock from the site to allow for construction. To ensure the high sustainability levels, the rock was taken off site and sent to MJ Church’s processing facilities in Marshfield to crush the rock into a recycled aggregate which was then sent back to Winsley on a back-load which kept vehicle movements and disruption to a minimum.

Claire Coetzee, Senior Contracts Manager for MJ Church said, “Excavating out the rock on site took great skill as we found rock at different layers the deeper we went. The deepest layer of rock came out in large pieces the size of a family car. Fortunately, we have both the experience and the plant to deal with heavy rock like this. Ordinarily we would break large rocks up on site but to keep disruption and noise to a minimum for the hospice we chose to transport the rock back to our recycling facilities at our head office in Marshfield. Once there, we recycled it into smaller material that was then used as the base to the new car park.”

Haylie Carr, Director of HR, Education & Services at Dorothy House said: “Our sincere thanks to MJ Church and the other contractors for their commitment to achieving our vision for the new car park extension. We’re delighted with the final result which will now provide more sustainable parking facilities for patients, families and carers as well as staff and disabled visitors. We’d like to thank Jake Moss from Ridge, Stephen Daniels and the MJ Church team for their excellent communication and planning skills which allowed us to keep local residents well informed throughout each of the construction phases.”

Tom Harper, Chair of Freshford and Limpley Stoke Environment Working Group said: “We were grateful to be given the opportunity to consult on lighting with Dorothy House prior to design finalisation for their car park extension. We and the William Herschel Society, had just completed a film for developers on protecting dark starlit skies at http://starlitskies.org.uk Hence, I was thrilled to find Alison Bruce, construction client at Dorothy House, pro-actively seeking out best practice for external lighting.”

For more information on Dorothy House Hospice Care visit www.dorothyhouse.org.uk.