The low lying fenlands of England’s East Anglia is never the easiest place to construct large parking areas using traditional positively drained paving systems. Position a car park in a flood plain and it could be viewed as a problem of nightmarish proportions.
St Ives is a town with a parking problem – congestion in the market square has resulted in a traffic scheme that denies access into the central core, making out of town parking a necessity. The owners of the Dolphin Hotel close to the core, saw a means of gaining significant financial assistance in their desire to extend and develop the hotel. They had the land to provide both free parking for the hotel and paid parking for town visitors. The difficulty was that the area lies in a flood plain well below the adjacent road level making a positive draining system a non-starter.
An answer to the problem was found by using the GRASSCRETE GC3, 76mm deep, cast on site paving system substituting normal soil and grass infill with a 20-5mm gravel. The surface is designed to be self-draining without generally the need for pipework. In this installation, GRASSCRETE provides for the re-charge of both rain and flood impounding as well as enabling the natural rise and fall of near ground level water table levels.
The success of a product is often judged by repeat business and in this respect it is interesting to note that a recent extension to the car park has now more than doubled its size, again without the need for a drainage infrastructure.
Above and overleaf
The construction of the car park coincided with the development of a new wing to the hotel. A Barriered access from New Bridge Street enables charges to be made for parking on the area, which is usually fully occupied during business hours. The success of this has led to a recent extension to double the parking area.
The Dolphin Partnership
Bowmer and Kirkland Limited
4000 m² (Original area)
GRASSCRETE GC3 (76mm thick)