13th May 2021

Van Elle tackles ‘unusual’ underground natural fault at new Next warehouse site in Yorkshire


Work is well underway at a new Next distribution warehouse in Pontefract as Van Elle’s expert employees tackle an ‘unusual’ natural fault which runs through the site.

Van Elle, the UK’s leading ground engineering contractor, is set to install more than 7,000 piles at the site where a 770,000 ft2 (71,500 m2) warehouse will be erected.

The new warehouse will connect to an existing Next site via a link bridge, which will be supported on piles installed by Van Elle.

Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) piles are currently being installed, with an average installation rate of 130 piles a day and an outperform production of 190 piles achieved in one day.

In mid April, the team successfully installed 2,000 piles.

The team is set to install more than 7,000 piles at the site in Yorkshire.

Ian Jones, Van Elle’s Group Operations Director and Sean Gothard, Van Elle`s Senior Contracts Manager are heading up operational delivery at the site for our customer Bowmer & Kirkland.

Ian said: “It is an unusual site as there is a deep natural fault running through the centre – it is like an underground valley with bedrock depths going from three metres down to 19.5 metres.

“Ground conditions on site are also highly variable, we are drilling through sandstone, mudstone and have also encountered bands of coal in the fault.”

All four Van Elle rigs at the site in Yorkshire.

Van Elle mobilised to site earlier this year and is expected to finish works mid-June.

Four rigs, including a Soilmec SF50, Soilmec SR75, Llamada P140 and Llamada P105 are installing a range of CFA piles including 300, 350 and 400mm diameter piles.

The auger boring heads have been adapted to deal with the variable ground conditions. 

Concrete being mixed on site for the CFA piles.

Strata, Van Elle’s ground investigation experts also successfully completed static load pile tests, which performed well in accordance with the specification and pile design.

For more Van Elle news, including the acquisition of a new company, click here.