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►CS06 Windmill Hill, Runcorn

Development: Retaining Wall Remedial Works
Year: 1998 - 2004

Wainhomes (1998-1999)

National House Building Council (1999-2004)

Development Value: Unknown


A completed housing development at Windmill Hill, Runcorn was found to have many failed retaining walls.  Coopers were commissioned by Alfred McAlpine Homes to investigate these problems which included line and level surveys and core drilling.  The findings concluded that the retaining walls on this site had been constructed in lightweight, aerated trench blocks which had insufficient mass to provide the required resistance to lateral soil loading.

Coopers prepared designs for the thirty affected retaining walls.  Due to the restricted site, some new retaining walls were founded on mini-piles and reinforced concrete ground beams.  Where soil conditions and space allowed, the walls were founded on concrete strip footings.

The work involved in the removal of the unsuitable lightweight trench blocks had the consequence of removing some entire gardens.  In these cases, residents were temporarily rehoused in alternative unsold properties on the estate. 

Coopers were appointed resident engineer for the three year contract to replace the defective walls.  Agreement was made between the clients, the contractor and the residents that the remedial work would be carried out on a rolling programme with effectively only three walls being worked on at any one time.  As one property was being fully reinstated and having its garden restored, the next wall in the sequence was being demolished.  At the same time, bricklayers would be rebuilding a third wall.  In this way, disruption to the residents was minimised whilst efficient use of the labour resources was maintained. 

Coopers duties during the construction period included programming the remedial works, holding public meetings to explain the remedial works to the residents, to manage arrangements for moving affected residents out of their homes and to supervise and inspect the rebuilding works.

As resident engineer, Coopers resolved disputes between the residents and the contractor, particularly where damage occurred to gardens and driveways as a consequence of the works, and we approved the quality of garden reinstatement work.

Upon completion of the works we issued Certificates of Repair for each affected property.

COOPERS is the trading name of Coopers (Chester) Limited.
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