• Blatchington Mill School, Brighton / Brighton and Hove Hockey Club

    This project was secured by The Sports Construction Consultancy as a direct referral from a series of pitch projects for Guildford Hockey Club over the past 20 years.

    The scheme involved a floodlit double pitch arrangement with retaining walls utilised to lessen the footprint of the facilities leaving as much natural grass pitch provision as possible. There is a severe shortage of suitable sites in the heavily built-up area but The Sports Construction Consultancy had also secured planning permission on a previous site only for the Club’s partner school to pull out.

    The pitches are sand dressed, to FIH National Standard and also used for football during the school day and by the community on some evenings. The project value was just under £1m.

    The subsoil conditions are chalk which requires additional foundation depth.

    There was well organised, articulate opposition to the project which continued even after the pitch was brought into use. There were neighbour concerns about drainage but the pitch drainage measures actually improve drainage conditions for the local residents. The floodlighting protestations led to the appointment of independent consultants both by ourselves and the Local Authority and that situation is now settled in favour of the School, the Club and ourselves. Similarly acoustic issues were examined in great detail with mitigation measures being implemented.

    With some of the construction during term time, CDM considerations were important and the bulk of the deliveries were scheduled to be in school holidays or avoiding peak traffic movements in the School. There were no reportable accidents or incidents. The contractors’ methods were also well contained with minimal inconvenience to the school or neighbours.

    The project was managed from planning permission, with 3D visualisations produced from within the Hockey Club, right through to the handover and beyond the end of the defects liability period. The maintenance equipment is all in place and the floodlights maintained on a regular basis by the lighting sub-contractor.

    The Hockey Club is thriving and the School, despite some initial reservations by key personnel, are delighted with the facilities.