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 Brief

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.

“I am delighted that this ambitious project continues to progress so positively. We went through a highly competitive exercise to appoint them [Morgan Sindall] and were impressed with their ambitious vision for the new highways depot and household waste recycling centre.”

Community Engagement


  •  Two apprentices employed through the project

Key Challenges

  • 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.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

  • 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

Our Learnings

  • 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.

Value Added

KPI’s & Statistics

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

Apprentices: 2

Average AIR: 0

Average CCS score: 46 (out of 50)

Waste diverted from landfill: 99.95%

Contact: Tom Martin, MS Project Manager