Foundation snag at Thornton House?

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Some may be wondering why work on the replacement buildings to Thornton House on Cheshire Street has not yet started after permission was granted last October. After all, the residents were moved out and dispersed to alternative accommodation and some may be more than eager to return.

A survey report found on Cheshire East's website might provide the clue. It appears the ground beneath the site is sand and gravel and of a composition unable to support normal foundations.

Consultants say piles will need to be driven up to 10 metres down before building work can begin. What with the bats — reported last year on AudlemOnline — it's another blow to the project.

The shallow strata that is to be built on was noted during the ground-work investigation to comprise very loose to loose granular soils to depths in excess of 5.0m. Due to the presence of water it is considered that these soils, in their current condition are not suitable for the proposed structures to found on... piled foundations are probably the most cost effective option.

The report does say consideration could be given to other ground improvement techniques such as vibro-compaction.

At this stage, it is suggested that an allowance is made for 10m deep pre-cast driven, steel piles; however, a specialist piling contractor should confirm the suitability of the site and advise on the most appropriate and cost effective pile type and required length.

It sounds as if it's going to be a bigger job than anybody expected.

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