Basement works set to complete next March

Pumps being deployed at the London Road development following flooding in May last year
Pumps being deployed at the London Road development following flooding in May last year

Major work is set to be carried out this summer to resolve the problem of flooding at Buckingham’s Candleford Court development.

The majority of the 77 apartments in the London Roadcomplex, which was completed a year ago, are still unoccupied, due to an issue with flooding to the basement car park.

Twenty-six of the homes were already occupied when developers Guinness South announced it would not accept any more of the units from the builders, Lagan Homes, until the flooding issue was resolved.

Now Guinness South plans to install a new floor to the basement, supported by 168 piles which will be bored into the ground.

District councillors for Buckingham, Tim Mills and Robin Stuchbury, have been in correspondence with Guinness South for months.

On Tuesday, they received confirmation that piling work should begin in the summer.

Senior development manager for Guinness South, Rod Pearson, told the Advertiser: “The existing car park floor is structurally independent of the rest of the building.

“The new design requires the installation of 168 piles to not only support the new floor, but also to prevent damage from hydrostatic pressure in the event of a flood.

“The piles will be bored through the existing floor, which will then be removed and the new floor constructed on top.

“When the piling work is being carried out, there will not be any noise normally associated with ‘pile driving’ as the piles will be drilled by use of an auger and will therefore not be driven into the ground.”

Design work on the scheme is now complete and awaiting approval by building regulation authority the NHBC.

Contracts should be placed in July and piling should begin towards the end of July with the works complete by March 2014.

The work will be carried out by specialist sub-contractors but the replacement of the floor remains the responsibility of Lagan Homes.

Mr Pearson said Guinness South is looking at how it can ensure the comfort of existing residents is maintained during the work.

Councillor Mills told the Advertiser: “I’m glad it’s going to be sorted out at last but I’m surprised at how much work is needed, which raises the question why wasn’t it identified when it was originally built on such a high-risk site by the river?”

Councillor Stuchbury said: “I’m encouraged that something’s actually happening and that eventually those people who desperately need housing will be housed.

“It would be a lovely thing to see some curtains up and people living in it.”