Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Archaeology work begins ready for new business park

The first digging down works have begun at the site of a £56 million eco-conscious business park to allow archaeological investigations to take place.

Archaeology work has started on land to become North Kesteven District Council’s Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park. These investigations are a vital step before any main strategic infrastructure and construction works can begin, which are planned later in the year and will include build of a spine road, some ground features and the construction of a first phase of commercial industrial units.

Local contractor Allen Archaeology is excavating at the site, which is off Pride Parkway in Sleaford, starting along the planned location of the development’s spine road and access points from it.

If archaeological finds and features of note are identified during these archaeological works, Allen Archaeology will investigate and record them to standards agreed with the local planning authority. As the site progresses through approved build phases, the firm will continue to excavate accordingly.

Leader of North Kesteven District Council, Councillor Richard Wright, said: “These archaeological investigations are the first works in the ground for our Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park and are an immensely important milestone in its creation.

“As with all development and in a place with many layers of history and heritage such as North Kesteven, it’s important that we take time to investigate keenly and thoroughly for anything of archaeological importance.

“Through the delivery of our 37 acre Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park we are shouting proudly about North Kesteven and the benefits of living, working and bringing business and investment here. It’s a statement of confidence in our District, and one which we refuse to let Covid knock.

“It shouts loudly too about the need to build back better by including energy-saving and environmentally conscious measures into schemes from the get-go including features that benefit both people and wildlife, from native planting to attenuation ponds acting both as wild water sources and places of calm.”

Director of Allen Archaeology Chris Clay said: “We’re pleased to be undertaking these works and playing a part in the delivery of this important strategic employment site for Sleaford and North Kesteven.

“It’s a requirement of the planning process to make such investigations, by excavating and recording any archaeology that might be found to the standard agreed with the local planning authority and their archaeological advisors, so that all development is done with a sensitive eye on heritage.

“So far our investigative works along the line of the spine road have uncovered several pits and linear ditches. Our team will excavate sections through these features, recover any finds and attempt to identify date and function.”

Previous investigations on the site have revealed Roman buildings, trackways and enclosures as well as Iron Age field systems and medieval ridge and furrow.

The investigations at the site come as build and construction contractors who might wish to submit a tender for main strategic infrastructure and construction works for Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park are encouraged to take action now.

North Kesteven District Council is urging businesses which could be interested in the major works for the site including the civils, spine road construction and delivery of phase one of units to join the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for these, so they don’t miss the chance to potentially tender later.

A main contractor is required for these main infrastructure and construction works, and this main contractor must also offer sub-contractor opportunities. The total expected value of these main infrastructure and construction works is to be circa £12 million. There will be further opportunities as the project progresses.

Infrastructure work for Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park is planned to start later this year after a tender process. A first phase will follow with subsequent build of units taking place through to 2027.

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