Councillors visit site of extra-care scheme

Press Release: 29/07/2016

Tower Crane, Chesil Street

It is a towering presence in Winchester – a 41m-tall crane that forms an eye-catching temporary landmark in Chesil Street.

The tower crane will be in place for 40 weeks as part of work to build the 52-home extra-care housing on the site of the former Chesil Street surface car park.

The £15m scheme, funded by Winchester City Council, Homes and Community Agency, Hampshire County Council and a local bequest means that older people, who may have had to live apart in later life, or in unsuitable accommodation as their care needs change, will have the opportunity to live in modern, well-designed flats.

Councillors visited the site on Friday (29 July) to see the work in progress and hear from contractors Galliford Try about the challenges involved.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

It was fascinating to hear about the thorough safety measures that are in place for the crane. There is a 24-point checklist before the start of each shift and an eight-point check at the end of each shift, plus an 11-point weekly checklist.

Hampshire County Council has put in place a highways licence. The crane also has an appointed person, a lift supervisor, a slinger/banksman and driver to co-ordinate each lift and task relating to each material and plant-lift.

The tower crane will be working each day. At the end of each shift the crane will be put into ‘free slew’. This is similar to a weather vane and allows the crane to move in the wind while the site is closed or the driver is on breaks.

The 41m height is dictated by an ash tree on east embankment above the site. There must be a 3m gap from the underside of the hook to any obstruction within its radius.
The tower crane comes from Berkeley in Gloucestershire. It can lift three tons at 30m radius. It will be used for unloading and lifting all materials and plant during construction of A and B blocks at the extra-care scheme.

There are additional measures in place to warn against and stop travel of the crane past a fixed point and pedestrian and traffic control measures are in place when unloading from the kerbside. Lifting stops in strong winds or if electrical storms are forecast.

Meanwhile another crane is in place at Victoria Court for a second City Council housing scheme under construction in Winchester by H H Drew.

This crane is a Spanish ‘jaso 80’. It is 19.7m high with a 30.5m jib and can lift up to five tons (5000kg).

The crane is lifting the heavy steel into place for the reinforced concrete works and will remain busy during the brickwork structure and roof phases. It is expected to be on site until April 2017.

A banksman on the road will direct pedestrians and cars as required when lorries are being unloaded. The crane is electric and so is expected to be a quiet part of the build.