Flagship Scania premises opens in Maidstone
Swedish Ambassador performs ceremony
Scania’s new state-of-the-art commercial vehicle service centre has been officially opened by Sweden’s Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Nicola Clase. She was joined at the ceremony by approximately 100 transport operators together with senior Scania executives and representatives from Gallagher Group, the owners and developers of the site.
The £6m, 2.5-acre, flagship site, which will be known as Scania Maidstone, is situated on the Chatham Road, off the A229 and a short distance from junction 6 of the M20. It encompasses a piece of land that would have otherwise become redundant due to alterations to the highways in the area.
Gallagher Group, the Aylesford based construction, engineering and property development company who were responsible for the construction and development of the site, had to follow a global footprint set by Scania. This is one of a number of proposed purpose built premises in the UK that will become commercial vehicle centres.
Scania Maidstone will provide an extensive range of commercial vehicle services and is expected to become a focal point for transport companies operating within the region and those travelling to and from the ports. The 24 hour operation will house five drive-through workshop bays, a DVSA Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) lane and a full Scania parts service will be offered. Initially Scania Maidstone will provide employment for a total of 34 technicians, parts and administration staff and it is anticipated that the figure will rise significantly once the branch has established itself.
The Swedish based group’s combined bus and coach market share amounted to 9.7% last year and the MD of Scania (Great Britain) Limited, Claes Jacobsson, commented, ‘Scania Maidstone is a clear statement of our intent to continue building for the future and to provide our customers with the highest possible levels of quality and service. Together with our purpose-built Inverness premises, which opened earlier this year, Scania Maidstone represents the latest major investment in our UK network infrastructure. The programme will continue in 2016 with the upgrading of several existing Scania UK sites now either planned or underway.’
A number of environmental issues had to be taken in to consideration to preserve local wildlife and minimise the site’s environmental impact. These included the relocation of a number of great crested newts, which are protected under European legislation. The development of the site meant that their habitat was restricted and they have been sensitively re-homed to the nearby Allington Castle Estate and will be monitored over the next six years as part of a programme agreed with Natural England.
The pond which was the newts’ former place of residence has been preserved with bat and bird boxes, hibernacula have been built around its perimeter and a seasonal wetland area to the west of the site has been retained in order to provide habitat for local wildlife.
Within the construction itself, an underground fire-fighting water tank has been included and is fed with rainwater which is harvested from the roof. This tank overflows in to the preserved pond, which itself then overflows to soakaway pits.
The roof also houses 300 square metres of photo-voltaic panels to supply power to the site and any surplus will be fed back into the national grid.
Further energy efficiency installations include; consumption-reducing fittings on all water outlets; a bio-disc sewage treatment unit for the disposal of foul water, motion-controlled lights and heat recovery units which reuse surplus heat collected from the ventilation system. Highly efficient heating is supplied to the workshop areas via radiant panels and air-source heat pumps further improve
During the construction period extensive use was made of local labour, plant and materials. The site’s waste management plan saw a minimum of 98 percent of waste materials recycled or reused, and all timber used was certified under either the FSC or PEFC forest management schemes. Together, these factors contributed to the project being awarded a Considerate Constructors Scheme score of 40, signifying performance beyond compliance, and a ‘Very Good’ ranking from the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) sustainability rating and certification authority.