Field Road

Information on incidents and developments around Field Road since January 2000.

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Phase 3

Phase 3 concerns properties in the Field Road and Coley District area where below ground anomalies were identified in Phase 2. During Phase 3 further detailed ground investigations followed by remedial ground stabilisation works where carried out. This work was mainly being funded by a £4.3M grant via the Land Stabilisation Programme administered by the Housing and Communities Agency.

The ground investigation involved several techniques including dynamic probing and rotary drilling using heavy plant and equipment. The majority of the exploratory holes were within property boundaries owned privately or by the Council.

pdf icon Figure B1 - details of where the work is intended to be carried out [1Mb]

pdf icon Summary Interpretative Geotechnical Report [1Mb]


Phase 2

Introduction to Phase 2 Field Road and Coley District Initial Investigation Project

A Mining Review Mapping Study of a wider area has been carried out which has identified areas within "The Coley District" that should be investigated under Phase 2. There are two initial zones identified warranting investigation. Zone A is preliminary investigations around known quarries associated with historical brick and tile works. It has been established that chalk mine audit (tunnels) are present and need further investigation. Zone B is an extension of the previous investigations in Field Road to try and establish the extent and condition of historical chalk mining activity in that zone.

Update - Results of Phase 2 Field Road and Coley District Initial Investigation Project

The initial investigations works were completed at the end of 2005 to ascertain the extent of the historical chalk mining in the Field Road and Coley District area. The results have now been interpreted to ascertain the implications on buildings and the highway. This information has been included in a report that is now available in electronic or paper form on request at a nominal cost.

The most relevant tables and maps have been extracted from the report for ease of reference below. If you wish to download them, feel free to do so.

Public Meeting - 27th July 2006

A meeting has taken place to explain the findings and the implications to owners and occupiers of the properties in the area covered by this phase of the investigations, in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre Reading on 27 July 2006. Notes of the meeting are included below for your information.

One of the main issues that came out of the meeting was the need for clarification of the meaning of the colour code of buildings regarding the implications of the investigation findings. Tables 10 & 12 below give explanations of the coding from an engineering perspective.

For clarity, buildings that are coloured purple have no evidence of being affected by chalk mining, but this could not be proven as intrusive investigations were not carried out to these properties during Phase 2. Although, from an engineering point of view, it may be ideal to do intrusive investigations to confirm the situation, unless other physical evidence comes to light, no further investigations are planned at the moment.

Buildings that are coloured blue also have no evidence of being affected by chalk mining through intrusive investigations completed, but are part of a terrace, block of buildings or close to a building that does. There is a possibility that the chalk mining found at nearby properties may extend beyond those properties. Once more detailed investigations are carried out to find out the full extent of the identified chalk mining a re-evaluation of these buildings can take place. It is likely that these future re-evaluations may bring many of these properties into the green category.

pdf icon Minutes of Public Meeting held 27th July 2006 [43kb]

pdf icon Phase 2 Site Location [556kb]

pdf icon Zone A - Map Showing Investigation Results [1Mb]

pdf icon Zone B - Map Showing Investigation Results [1Mb]

pdf icon Zone B Extended - Map Showing Investigation Results [1Mb]

pdf icon Table 10 - Summary of Mining Anomaly Probabilities [91kb]

pdf icon Table 12 - Summary of Investigation Priority Classifications [55kb]


Phase 1

Introduction to Phase 1 Field Road Historical Chalk Mines Investigation and Stabilisation Project

Ground subsidence occurred on 4 January 2000 outside the front of Nos. 6 – 8 Field Road Reading, with a crater 8m diameter and 4m maximum depth being formed, which caused part of the front and party walls of these properties to collapse. The Council activated the Emergency Plan and evacuated 200 residents in Field Road to a temporary rest centre because the collapse fractured the gas main.

Most of the people who were initially evacuated were allowed back into their homes later that evening, once the fractured gas main was repaired. However, a number of properties remained potentially unstable therefore the householders were found temporary accommodation whilst investigations into the collapse and remediation works were carried out.

The investigations showed that there were extensive historical chalk mines in the Field Road area. The mine tunnel roofs varied in depth from about 7.5m to 11m below ground level. The tunnel floors were typically around 13m to 14m below ground level and their width is typically 3m to 4m. The condition of the mines was generally found to be poor, with many areas of the roof having collapsed.

A scheme of stabilisation was developed from the results of the investigations. Grouting techniques were employed to fill the open voids beneath the ground and too improve areas of poor ground conditions resulting from previous collapses of the mines.

Stabilisation of Field Road Phase 1 was completed and all affected houses were reinstated together with the gardens and the Highway. The residents of the properties that were evacuated moved back into their properties in December 2001.

A major part of the funding for this project was granted through the Land Stabilisation Programme administered by English Partnerships who approved £4.2m towards the overall costs. The rest of the costs were borne by the Council and householders and insurance companies as appropriate.

This phase was successfully completed on programme and within budget.

pdf icon Vol 1 - Summary Report [2Mb]

pdf icon Vol 2 - An Account of the Site and Subsidence Events [1Mb]

pdf icon Vol 3 - Desk Studies and Research Report [13Mb]

pdf icon Vol 4 - Geotechnical Investigations [3Mb]

pdf icon Vol 5 - Ancillary Investigatory reports [2Mb]

pdf icon Vol 6 - Interpretation of Investigations and Implications [2Mb]

pdf icon Vol 7 - Ground Stabilisation Works [2Mb]

pdf icon Vol 8 - Site Restoration and House Rehabilitation Works [1Mb]


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