Case Studies

Demolition North Street Lewes on behalf of Lewes District Council

LOCATION Units 20 – 24 North Street
North Street Quarter
Lewes BN7 2PE

Demolition Works to Units 20 – 24 North Street, North Street Quarter, Lewes BN7 2PE on behalf of Lewes District Counci

As well as much needed housing and the new community health facility for 26,000 patients, the North Street Quarter scheme is contributing additional benefits to the town. The North Street Quarter will be a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood which will regenerate the area around North Street and the Phoenix Industrial Estate and reconnect it to the heart of Lewes. Located just a five-minute walk from Lewes High Street, the new North Street Quarter will reflect the character of the historic market town and provide a range of amenities for the benefit of all Lewes residents. These include completion of the flood defences, improvements to highways and upgrading Pell’s recreation ground and Malling Fields.

Units 20 – 24 North Street is located in the part of North Street Quarter that was scheduled to be developed in phases 2 & 3. However, the buildings were in a poor state of repair and had been targeted by trespassers so Lewes District Council took the decision to remove the units ahead of the main development works. The buildings comprised redundant two-storey brick-built mix of concrete and steel framed industrial buildings with primarily asbestos cement corrugated sheet coverings to pitched roofs.

Dorton Demolition was awarded the demolition contract through competitive tendering.


Brief scope of works:

  1. Undertake a schedule of conditions providing copies to the Client.
  2. Undertake site survey to determine location of services – test the working area with a CAT scanner, contact utility undertakers as necessary to establish the depth and position of all services, and locate and mark the position of underground services.
  3. Identify all trees to be protected and supply protective fences and signage to comply with the Aboricultural Survey Report and BS5837.
  4. Clear all vegetation and overgrowth around the site and between the units. Butterfly Bush is present across the majority of hardstanding areas within the site. Remove from site taking reasonable measures to prevent the spread of these plant species as detailed within the Ecological Assessment.
  5. Appoint a suitably qualified specialist subcontractor to carry out a needle sweep and sharps removal and decontamination and cleaning of affected areas prior to works commencing.
  6. Appoint a suitable person to act as a Neighbour Liaison Officer and keep neighbours advised of any matters arising from the demolition works that may adversely affect them and keep records of all correspondence and interactions with the neighbours.
  7. Undertake CCTV survey of existing foul and surface water drainage installations including emptying, cleaning and jet washing of interceptors located across the site.
  8. Supply and erect 2.40m high ply hoarding, painted one side to Lewes District Council colours, to the perimeter of the site boundaries, with double metal vehicular gates and ironmongery, including all permissions, licenses and fees in association with, and maintain for the duration of the demolition works. The hoarding is to remain insitu on completion as the property of the Client.
  9. Supply and erect all necessary demolition scaffolding to structures in close proximity and along site boundaries protecting the general public and neighbouring business units and recreational facilities – Pell’s Pool – Seasonal Outdoor Public Swimming Pool (the country’s first public swimming pool) and Pell’s Recreation Ground within the Lewes Conservation Area, Energy Technology & Control Ltd. and associated car park, and North Street Dental Practice. Additionally, supply and install a 4.00m high scaffold frame and dust and privacy screen to the boundary adjoining Pell’s Pool.
  10. Removal of all Asbestos Contaminated Materials from the buildings.
  11. Removal of all previous tenants’ furniture, fixtures and fittings.
  12. Pay and arrange attendance of a licensed bat ecologist to complete a bat watching brief during the soft strip phase of the works.
  13. Soft Strip and Demolition of all buildings, outbuildings and external structures. Ground bearing floor slabs and foundations to be retained. The Council proposes to use the site area to provide additional off-street temporary public parking facilities until the commencement of the regeneration works.
  14. Removal of all demolition arisings from site leaving a relatively level site on completion.

Demolition was carried out in a primarily ‘live’ industrial estate to the north and east boundaries and Conservation Area to the south and west boundaries with the River Ouse running parallel with the site approximately 50m away.

A permanent banksman was employed by Dorton Demolition to provide safe access and egress for site traffic throughout the duration of the project. Access public footpaths was maintained at all times. Site traffic routes and times were coordinated with travel routes and peak travel times of local businesses, residents and schools. Parking of all our vehicles was inside the site confines with no vehicles parked on pavements and adjoining roads, minimising disturbance to adjoining businesses.

Wheel washing and road sweeping facilities were provided on site and managed on a daily basis. A water spray system provided regular dampening down for dust control.

During removal of a large raised concrete plinth inside one of the buildings, site personnel encountered areas of suspect asbestos debris in the historic backfill hardcore. Works were immediately stopped pending further investigation. Analysis of the fragments showed the presence of large quantities of asbestos cement in all trial pits. The contaminated backfill hardcore material had to removed from site to a licenced asbestos disposal site. Works were subject to water spray suppression and independent monitoring of both air and personal exposure for potential airborne asbestos fibres. All testing showed site operations well within acceptable limits. Once remediation was completed the area was levelled and compacted before finishing with compacted layers of 6F2 crushed demolition material.

Site works were completed two weeks before programme, and without accident or incident. Regular communication with neighbouring businesses and prompt action when concerns were raised allowed the project to be completed efficiently and in a timely manner.

Following handover of the site, we requested a close down meeting with the Council. This was primarily for feedback on the strength and weaknesses of our site team and the delivery process. Learning lessons from previous projects helps us to be more efficient and deliver successful projects.

We also ask for feedback from neighbouring residents especially on such matters as levels of environmental comforts. This information is then used to develop a way forward for future projects so that mistakes are not repeated.

The total tonnage of demolition waste produced was:

  1. Hardcore removed from site for recycling: 66 tonnes
  2. Asbestos cement waste to licensed asbestos disposal site: 50 tonnes
  3. Asbestos cement mixed with hardcore to licensed asbestos disposal site: 93 tonnes
  4. Asbestos Insulated Board to licensed asbestos disposal site: 7 Kgs.
  5. Rubbish to licensed waste transfer station: 41 tonnes
  6. Plasterboard to licensed waste transfer station: 3 tonnes
  7. Metal scrap to metal recycling yard: 94 tonnes

Contract Start Date: 25th March 2019
Actual Contract Completion Date: 14th June 2019
Contract Completion Date: 1st July 2019