Planters get new home at station

WEST Byfleet station is the new home to three concrete planters from Sheer House.

Retirement Villages Group (RVG), which is leading the redevelopment of the Sheer House site, arranged for the planters to be given a new lease of life by South Western Railway (SWR).

TEAM EFFORT – (Left to right) Red Evans and Neil Stower (Squibb), Isabella David (West Byfleet Community Gardening Group), Masha (SWR), Wade Pollard (West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum) and Tony Jackson (Squibb) take a break after installing another of the planters

The move was made possible by extensive collaboration between the project team, SWR and the West Byfleet community.

The re-homing of the planters is part of a wider initiative by RVG to reduce waste as much as possible.

The redevelopment will be the first whole-of-life net zero carbon scheme in the UK and will include sustainable measures such as solar panels and car-charging points.

Terry Unitt, senior project manager at RVG, said: “Recycling materials throughout the project is  important to us.  Moving the planters to West Byfleet station, a focal point of the town, is a chance for us to share what happens behind the hoardings with the wider community.

“We look forward to continuing this initiative throughout the project and seeing many more materials recycled.”

HEAVY LIFTING – One of the planters is lowered into position at West Byfleet station

Fiona Brown, station manager and sustainability lead for the area, said: “South Western Railway, through its sustainability programme, encourages and promotes station adoption schemes with local communities, encouraging positive improvements to the environment for our customers and colleagues and wildlife.

“We are grateful for all the hard work of the volunteers of the West Byfleet Gardening Group, who are transforming the look of the station.  Thank you also to Retirement Villages Group for the donation of the planters.”

Rebecca Bradshaw, from the West Byfleet Community Gardening Group, which recently “adopted” West Byfleet station, added: “Since launching last year, the West Byfleet Community Gardening Group has been working hard to transform West Byfleet into a haven for wildlife. We’re delighted that RVG has been able to donate the planters, which will now be cared for by the local community.”

RVG appointed specialist contractor Squibb Group to carefully demolish the Sheer House building. Rather than simply bringing a building down, Squibb assesses the different component materials and decides what can be wholly or partially preserved.

Once demolition is complete, it is hoped that 95% of materials will have been recycled. This includes the components being reused in other construction projects or, if an object is wholly preservable, such as the planters, it can continue to be enjoyed by the community.

Wade Pollard, chair of West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum, said: “The redevelopment of Sheer House is something everyone is looking forward to. RVG has been working closely with the Neighbourhood Forum since taking over the site last year and we are glad we have been able to help shape the new development.

“It’s great to see RVG is committed to preserving parts of the old site for the community to enjoy.”

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