Site Remediation In Huddersfield By Utley Excavations

Case Study: Site Remediation of Mill Ponds into Affordable Housing in Newsome, Huddersfield

Case Study: Utley Excavations - Transforming Historic Mill Ponds into Affordable Housing in Newsome, Huddersfield

Project Overview: Utley Excavations recently completed a challenging yet rewarding project in Newsome, Huddersfield. The site held historic mill ponds that were over a century old, surrounding the former Newsome Mills. Our task was to provide cut and fill services, preparing the land for the construction of 22 affordable houses. The project was commissioned by our client, Urban Developments, working in collaboration with Yorkshire Housing.

The Unexpected Challenge: While we anticipated the presence of some silt within the mill ponds, the actual amount exceeded our expectations when we began emptying the ponds. This unexpected discovery caused a slight delay in the project. However, our team at Utley Excavations, well-equipped with the right machinery and expertise, was determined to overcome this hurdle and proceed efficiently.

Innovative Approach: To address the excess silt issue, we implemented a lime stabilization process. Lime was added to the silt, helping to stiffen and dry it out, transforming it into a usable soil that could be compacted and used as backfill for the site. This approach allowed us to efficiently manage the silt while ensuring that the ground would be stable for future construction.


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Methodology: Utley Excavations commenced by demolishing and removing all the pond walls and floors. The materials resulting from the demolition were crushed using our specialized crusher, and this crushed material was later used as backfill to fill the ponds and level the ground.

Additionally, we imported 20,000 tons of muck, equivalent to 1000 lorry loads, to fill the ponds further. The muck was strategically placed to optimize the site's leveling process, ensuring the foundation would be strong and stable for the forthcoming construction phase.

Equipment Utilized: To execute the project with precision and efficiency, we deployed a range of heavy machinery on-site, including:

  • Dozer: Used for leveling the muck and preparing the ground for construction.
  • 25-ton Excavator: Employed for various excavation and earth-moving tasks.
  • Dump Truck: To transport materials and debris efficiently across the site.
  • 13-ton Excavator: Ideal for more detailed and delicate excavation work.
  • Telehandler: Utilized for handling and placing materials with precision.


Dealing with Rainwater Accumulation: One of the major challenges encountered during the project was the accumulation of rainwater in the ponds. To address this, our team coordinated with another contractor responsible for draining the ponds effectively. Additionally, we installed water pumps on the site to pump out the rainwater into the sewer system, with prior permission from Yorkshire Water. This solution ensured that the project's progress would not be hindered by adverse weather conditions.

Conclusion: Despite the unforeseen challenges posed by the abundance of silt and rainwater accumulation, Utley Excavations successfully completed the transformation of the historic mill ponds in Newsome, Huddersfield. Through innovative approaches, the right equipment, and a dedicated team, we were able to overcome obstacles and create a stable, level ground for the construction of 22 affordable houses. This project stands as a testament to our commitment to excellence and our ability to adapt and deliver successful results for our clients in the construction industry.

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