In one particular location the route was amended to avoid deep excavations, which would have been within 3m of private residential homes, utilising a route through a clearing in adjacent woodland instead. The team built up a very good relationship with affected homeowners, which allowed for the excavation of a deep ‘launch’ pit located within a private garden and therefore avoided the requirement to be located within the grounds of an adjacent primary school.
Excavations took place within roads, in car parks of private housing developments, shopping centre car parks, and council grounds (including Belfast Castle) and on many occasions were in close proximity to residential properties. Where gardens had since been landscaped over the original pipeline bends, excavations up to 5m deep had to be carried out. Some of the deep excavations were less than 5m away from the owners’ front doors within beautifully manicured, mature gardens. A huge effort was concentrated on liaising with all stakeholders – particularly residents – before, during and after pipe laying and reinstatement works were completed promptly to keep them fully up to date and ensure all their expectations were met.