If you are a regular walker in Oxford Preservation Trust’s fields by the Thames, you will have noticed that construction work has started on the Sandford Hydro project. This is the first of a series of reports to keep you up-to-date on what is happening.
Construction of the Sandford Hydro scheme will take place over this coming winter. The work is weather dependent (ie work will stop if the river rises above a certain level) so the construction company cannot give a definite end date. If this dry weather continues, it may be over in late spring, but we should probably expect it to finish in summer 2017. Either way, it will be approx 6 – 9 months.
During the initial set up phase, a temporary road, from Sandford Lane to the weir, has been made of hard core. This road will enable the heavy traffic to reach the river during the construction phase and has been built to protect the field which gets boggy in wet weather. It will be completely removed at the end of the project and the grassy field will be reinstated.
The contractors have also put up Heras fencing panels on the access points into OPT’s most southerly field. The construction company has insisted on the fences for reasons of public safety. At the moment anyone entering the field is doing so despite the signs and fences. If the fences are removed, the Low Carbon Hub would be allowing members of the public access to a live construction site and, if there is an accident, they would be criminally liable. We hope that everyone will appreciate that we cannot remove the Heras panels.
We apologise for the inconvenience the fencing panels are causing walkers and fishermen. We hope that they will be opened up at the weekends to enable easier access when the construction work is not taking place. However, we must stress that there is no access to the steps right by the weir due to the dangers of the construction site.
If you would like more information about this project or have any queries, please contact the Low Carbon Hub on Oxford 246099 or see www.lowcarbonhub.org/projects
Rachel Sanderson, Oxford Preservation Trust
& Adriano Figueiredo, Low Carbon Hub