Thorn Turn Highways Depot

Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Project Details

Central Bedfordshire Council

Project Manager
Central Bedfordshire Council


Morgan Sindall


Contract Period
71 weeks

Procurement Type

Form of Contract
JCT 2011 SFC / CDP

2,795 square meters

Apprentices Employed

Project summary
The project consisted of the construction of a highways and waste disposal depot to service the maintenance requirements across the council’s highways whilst relieving pressure on the existing household waste and recycling centre (HWRC) nearby.

A new modular office was built to accommodate approx. 100 highways staff, a large tension fabric salt barn, a Highways Maintenance Dry store warehouse which enables the ongoing maintenance of fleet vehicles, whilst providing a suitable storage area for high value materials. The building was also fitted out with a small office provision for up to 10 staff. A refuelling area was also provided on the site.

Key challenges

  • The initial cost plan from the client was below the proposed project value aspiratise therefore causing issues to the Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC)
  • Commencing works on site in time to avoid the bird nesting season (March to September), despite the budgetary issues
  • Liaison with Ringway Jacobs for the S278 highways works and the various interfaces between the two project

How these were delivered

  • At Gateway 2, we presented a very open and honest cost plan to give CBC sight of the initial deficiencies. We then worked closely with CBC on an extensive Value Engineering exercise, resulting in all four main buildings being taken on as CDP’s. By doing so, we were able to deliver the project in line with the Employers Requirements whilst offering considerable savings on the initial design. The VE exercise resulted in a saving of nearly £2m
  • We provided accurate forecast figures for the main contract sum, which gave CBC confidence to issue a notice to commence for £3m to undertake initial earthworks ahead of bird nesting season. Without this, the project start date would have slipped by six months
  • Early engagement and involvement with CBC and Ringway Jacobs throughout the design phase of the S278 works enabled the programmes to run concurrently without causing delay to the programme.

KPI Graphs


Average AIR

Average CCS score
46 (out of 50)

Waste diverted from landfill

Lessons Learnt:

The good

  • Employment and skills plan targets were exceeded
  • Full team collaboration from appointment to completion
  • Early and continued engagement with CBC fostering a good relationship with the client

The challenges

  • Interpretation of the end user requirements has meant that some areas of the site are not being
    utilised to their full extent, e.g. the vehicle wash bays and the vehicle maintenance store. The project would have benefited from buildability input from Morgan Sindall during the design stage.
Gateway 2 PlanningGateway 3
Contract Agreement
Gateway 4 Completion
Time63 weeks63 weeks71 weeks
Value Engineering
Change construction of Salt Barn£300,000
Use alternative supply chain partner for Highways Depot£500,000
Change construction of Maintenance Shed£450,000


Tom Martin
MS Project Manager