Establishing ongoing relationships with clients is very important to DCP.
Our project with Spectra Packaging is a great example. We have been working with the manufacturer for nearly 10 years and have just completed the second stage (you could call it an extension) of a major development with the construction of a fifth unit on their purpose-built site in Halesworth, Suffolk.
Spectra Packaging, established in 2007, initially operated from a compact site in Halesworth. By 2011 the manufacturer, already a market leader in specialist plastic packaging, wanted to grow and expand its business but simply didn’t have sufficient space to do so.
With a lack of viable alternative premises in the area, the obvious answer was to procure and develop their own; a facility that would not only allow for future expansion, but also enable the retention of the workforce and valuable links to the local community.
A 17.4 acre site on the edge of Halesworth Road provided the solution.
The Master Plan
We worked very closely with the client to formulate a masterplan for the development, which would allow: –
- Sensitive & sustainable development of the sloping greenfield site adjacent to the Fairview Meadow Country Wildlife Site.
- Phased development to mirror the planned growth of the company, allowing it to expand its capacity over time, to 12 units in total.
The client was very clear that they wanted to minimise the impact of the building on surrounding landscape and the ‘neighbours’.
Our plan took these instructions on board. We protected the existing woodland and hedges during the construction phase and incorporated them into the new development. We also decided to cut the building into the ground to minimise its visual impact; at its deepest point the factory is some 3m below the existing ground level.
Ecologists were retained to undertake detailed studies of the local flora and fauna to establish the presence of protected and BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) species. This resulted in protective perimeter reptile fencing, the construction of hibernacula’s, habitats and retention ponds suitable for reptiles.
The plan also included planting over 800 native trees and plants on the site boundary and seeding wildflower meadows.
The Phase 1 development commenced with a cut and fill operation involving the excavation and placement of some 50,000m³ of topsoil and clay, to provide the necessary cut for the Phase 1 building and the plateau suitable for future development of the site.
The initial £3m development phase provided 4 units comprising 60,000 sq ft of manufacturing, warehouse and office space together with car parking, and forecourts.
The client moved their operations to the new site in 2011 following a 36-week construction period.
With rapid and continued company growth, Spectra subsequently commissioned us to design and manage the extension of the warehousing facilities on the site. The £2m construction of Unit 5 started in April 2017.
DCP applied and successfully obtained Planning Permission for Units 5-6.
As site levels for this phase had already been established in Phase 1, as per the masterplan, the build was relatively straightforward.
However, the phased development and familiarity with the client’s production process, allowed us to revisit the masterplan, and it became clear that reworking the size and orientation of future units 5 – 10 would facilitate the client’s manufacturing process.
These design changes above ground also necessitated amendments to the infrastructure underground, including the relocation of a UKPN High Voltage cable. We worked closely with the client and UKPN to ensure a satisfactory resolution.
This unit increased capacity on the site by 25,800 sq. feet and comprised office and warehouse space, together with further infrastructure works to form additional forecourts.
The value of an ongoing relationship:
Throughout this development we have worked closely with the client.
From initial concept, through land acquisition, the original design, the planning process, predicted project costs, to the detailed design and tender process.
Working so closely with the client, main and specialist contractors, as well as the end users has ensured clarity and continuity of design and programme.
Being involved from the outset we are very proud to have taken the client’s vision for a world class manufacturing facility and turned it into a reality.
We are delighted that Spectra continue to expand and very pleased to report that discussions are underway on future site development.