July 16, 2020
For over eight years, Cantillon Ltd worked in a framework partnership with the Stonebridge Housing Action Trust and Hillside Housing throughout their regeneration of the Stonebridge Estate in North West London. The development of new dwellings for all residents and a variety of community facilities required a huge programme of phased demolition and construction works.
The first phase of demolition works involved the asbestos removal, soft strip and careful dismantling of the tallest building on the estate, the twenty-two storey residential tower block: ‘Haskell House’. This was situated in the middle of the live estate and adjacent to the local nursery school and two primary schools. A number of educational assemblies were given to the surrounding schools to educate as many children as possible, residing on or near the estate in order to create awareness of the dangers of demolition sites. Cantillon went on to remove vacant maisonettes and houses within the neighbouring crescents and also undertook the demolition and landscaping of former multi-storey car parks – enabling temporary use of the site area.
The estate is situated on two sides of a major traffic route. Cantillon then commenced a demolition programme on the north side of the Estate, dismantling an eighteen storey tower: ‘Hiscock House’ and also stripping out a large eight storey residential block: ‘Fitzsimmons Court’ in Exon Crescent. Logistically this was a particularly difficult tower to dismantle, as new build properties surrounded the site perimeter at extremely close proximity.
Cantillon’s Asbestos Surveying Division undertook detailed R&D Surveys of several property types on the estate and subsequently removed asbestos from every building prior to demolition.
Whilst on the north side of the estate, Cantillon were also asked to undertake the careful dismantling of a pedestrian footbridge which spanned the breadth of Hillside Road. It was determined that due to the immense daily traffic flow, the task would be best undertaken at night when, with permission by Brent Highways Department, the road was closed for a short time. A mobile crane was manoeuvred into place to assist with the removal and specialist burning and cutting equipment was used to dissect the bridge as quickly and cleanly as possible. The road was re-opened within the time restriction and to the satisfaction of the client, residents and the council.
Finally, Cantillon demolished the seven-storey ‘Clark Court’ using high-reach machines, the five storey ‘Wilmers Court’ comprised of three- and four-storey blocks and the 16-storey ‘Prothero House’.
Prothero House was dismantled using traditional floor-by-floor methods as additional protection works were required due to the presence of a live sub-station on the ground floor.
Throughout the entire regeneration programme at Stonebridge, great emphasis was placed on employment and training of locals. We worked closely with the local labour team and achieved the target of 20 per cent local employment on virtually every phase. In addition, the Cantillon enjoyed taking part in employment workshops, community events and award ceremonies to celebrate the achievements of the local residents.