Six months of tunnelling work to begin soon in Three Brooks nature reserve

Picnic tables near the 'duck pond' in the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, Bradley Stoke.

Work to construct part of a major new sewer link is expected to get under way in Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve in April, Wessex Water has announced.

The new 5km-long link will run from Frampton Cotterell to Bradley Stoke, where it will join up with an existing section of the Frome Valley Relief Sewer (FVRS) that was constructed in the early 1990s.

Once the “missing link” is completed, the FVRS will divert waste water flows from Yate to the Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth via a route around the north of Bristol, rather than alongside the Frome Valley and through the centre of Bristol.

The work within the nature reserve, which is expected to last for approximately six months, will involve setting up a work compound centred on the triangular area of grass near the ‘duck pond’, where two picnic tables were recently installed by Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC). Here, a six-metre deep underground chamber will be constructed from where a tunnel will be bored to accommodate the new 1.8m-diameter sewer pipe. The tunnel will run from the chamber near the ‘duck pond’ to a point on the other side of the M4 motorway.

Wessex Water’s project manager Mike Bryant informed the January meeting of BSTC’s Planning Committee that the work at the nature reserve site will be carried out using 12-hour daytime shifts for five days per week. The first five to six weeks of work are expected to create the most noise, while the tunnelling shaft is constructed. Thereafter, there will be much less noise as the work will be going on underground and equipment on the surface (such as generators) will be “almost silent”.

A new vehicle access point into the nature reserve will be built off Bradley Stoke Way, close to the bridge over Stoke Brook, allowing construction vehicles to enter and leave the reserve along the short section of Concorde Way which leads down to the brook. The Journal understands that a planning application for this new access point will be submitted to South Gloucestershire Council in the next few weeks.

Cllr Keith Cranney requested that wheel washing facilities be installed, to avoid mud being transferred from vehicles onto the public roads, but Mr Bryant assured him that all the paths used by the construction vehicles will be surfaced with stone, so “there should be no mud”.

Responding to reports that construction vehicles have already been seen in the nature reserve, a Wessex Water spokesperson said:

“We have undertaken some ground investigation works at the nature reserve in preparation for the scheme, which is due to start on 24th April. This was carried out in full consultation with the local councils.”

“These investigations are now complete and work on the scheme will start as planned in April. We will be meeting members of the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group and other community groups to keep them informed.”

“Over the next few weeks we will be contacting local residents to inform them of our planned works.”

• For more information on the Frome Valley Relief Sewer project, visit

Photo: The picnic area by the ‘duck pond’ will become a construction site for six months.

Map showing proposed final phase of the Frome Valley relief sewer between Frampton Cotterell and Bradley Stoke.

Above: Map showing proposed final phase of the Frome Valley relief sewer between Frampton Cotterell and Bradley Stoke.

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 19). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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