The Garden Village at Handforth

Project Overview

The Garden Village at Handforth was identified by Cheshire East Council in 2015 as a possible location for a strategic residential development site to meet the continuing shortage of housing within the borough.

The site was subsequently identified as one of the Government’s new “Garden Village” development sites in 2016 with technical and master planning studies undertaken to support the site’s allocation within the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy.
Engaged by Engine of the North RoC provided technical ground and civil engineering input into the emerging master plan with a view to identifying potential considerations / constraints, as well as identifying any potential abnormal items that require due consideration in development appraisals. The information provided was fed into Draft Supplementary Planning document released by Cheshire East in August 2018 relating to the development.

The site comprises a combination of green and brownfield land including the site of the former Royal Ordinance Factory Handforth WW2 storage depot and two EA registered historic landfill sites.

A programme of site wide ground investigations was completed to fully understand contaminated land related concerns and likely foundation design requirements comprising the formation of over 60 exploratory boreholes and trial pits across the site. These works were completed in conjunction with a site wide highways, level and drainage review to determine the most efficient engineering strategy for the site, paying due consideration to likely development phasing requirements.



As well as ground related issues typically encountered on brownfield regeneration sites, including sources of contamination within made ground across the former MOD land and ground gas issues, the presence of the aforementioned Inert landfill sites present a considerable physical constraint to development.

A cut / fill earth works assessment was completed and as much material was retained as possible within these zones, regrading and reprofiling land to levels and gradient more compatible with development. The earthworks assessment was completed in conjunction with ground investigations during which the advice of ground improvement specialists was sought to determine the landfill materials’ suitability for re-use as engineered fill.

The existing site supports significant ecology and wildlife habitat, which has to be recognised and catered for by preservation and maintenance and by provision of
wildlife corridors and tunnels beneath the new estate spine road.

Added Value

RoC’s technical input to support the collation of the draft SPD and our engineering assessment on earthworks and drainage design has supported the collation of a development cost plan, within which allowances can be made for any significant remediation or bulk earthworks operations.

Project Details
ProjectThe Garden Village at Handforth
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Strategic Land
ClientEngine of the North
ArchitectEscape - Urbanists
Project Duration2018 - ongoing
ValueMasterplan - £363m construction value
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South Macclesfield Development Area
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No. 1 Castlefield, Manchester
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