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Clearing an ammunition depot

Not all jobs are the same, and our latest project certainly stands out from the crowd! In preparation for development, we were asked to clear a site, nothing new about that. However, this site has an explosive history!

Located amid farmland on the Surrey green belt, this 45-acre site has recently been granted permission for a new development of nine detached homes. Although this will be the first time this land has been used for residential purposes, it won’t be the first time this farmland has had an alternative purpose.

The site was developed between 1938 and 1939 and was constructed under the responsibility of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, with its principal function to store shells for 3.7” and 4.5” aircraft guns and rockets, with a maximum capacity of 960 tons of ammunition! The depot was fully stocked by mid-August 1939 and its first issues were made in September 1939, four days before the declaration of war.

Although the site is being re-developed, not all the site’s history will be lost as ‘Store 4’ has been identified for preservation. Store 4 has retained its southern loading bay, with retained conveyor supports and earth embankments towards its eastern side alongside original features such as by original door latches, bull light fixtures and gated entrances.

Despite it’s unusual past, this site was a straightforward clearance. We sectionally dismantled trees marked by the client for felling and utilising a 13t excavator and forestry mulching head we cleared all soft vegetation. The site was left clear, tidy, and most importantly accessible for the next phase of the development. We look forward to seeing how this site progresses and how the history of the site will be incorporated with the modern and sustainable building approach the developers will be taking.

For all site clearance enquiries please contact us on 01243 584125