We have now received permission to build the replacement pipeline, which will be installed through a limited area of Queen Elizabeth Park.

Work is underway to plan the installation of the replacement pipeline, but the Covid-19 epidemic has unavoidably affected all those who will be involved in delivering the project. We now anticipate that early works for the replacement pipeline will commence in late 2021 and main pipeline installation will start from 2022. The commitments and environmental protections we have made for installation will not be affected.

We will be releasing a location specific timeline for construction in spring 2021. For regular updates, sign up to our newsletter.

To demonstrate how we will reduce impact of construction through the park, we have secured a legally binding Site-Specific Plan that secures how we will be constructing through the park, details the trees that will be removed and replanted, sets out the ways of working that will protect tree roots, and how we will maintain access for park users.

We have summarised the main points below, but you can read the full plan here.

We will be engaging with the community about plans for the temporary play area within the park in summer 2021.

Your questions and concerns answered

Our Order Limits only take up some of the park. The rest of the park will remain accessible and can continue to be used as it is now during installation. Vehicle access and parking will be maintained from the A325.

Our current estimate is that we may be working within the park for up to 12 months. However, this would not necessarily be continuous due to the different techniques we would be using, which require separate machinery and would have variable periods for installation.

Pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained from Cabrol Road and from the A325. There will be a pedestrian route through the park, in the area north of our Order Limits. Vehicle access and parking will also be maintained through the existing entrance and car park in the northeast of the park off the A325. During reinstatement, we will re-lay the path and provide lighting throughout the existing footpath route.

We have offered to Rushmoor Borough Council to provide a play area within the Queen Elizabeth Park or nearby during construction. After construction, the existing play area will be reinstated with new equipment. Users of the park will not be without a play area.

We will not be removing the memorial benches. These are situated outside of our Order Limits.

Our engineers are confident they can work around, or protect the roots of, many of the mature trees within the park, including the large beech tree, the Fairy Tree or “T42” which is in our Schedule of Notable Trees. We do not anticipate that any mature trees will be removed. 30 non-mature trees will be removed, largely adjacent to the cycle/pedestrian path, but these will be replanted with native species where practicable. We will not be removing 25% of the trees within the park.

We will be providing security at all installation sites and construction compounds, including security lighting and suitable fencing. In this area it may be necessary to have a 24-hour security warden on site, and this decision will be made when we have our contractors on board.

We have committed to using narrow working methods, contained within the 30-metre-wide Order Limits. The width of the Order Limits gives us flexibility to move around features, such as veteran trees. The narrow working commitments we have made are to use:

  • A maximum of ten metres for the open-cut installation of the pipeline through the park
  • A maximum of five metres for the above ground stringing of the pipe for the trenchless technique from Stake Lane. Stringing is where sections of pipe are welded together on rollers ready to be pulled back through underground.

The Neighbours and Users of Queen Elizabeth Park group submitted questions in their written representation to the Examining Authority (Planning Inspectorate). Our response can be found here.