Clive Richardson Limited were appointed as the main contractors for the construction of new academy pitches, including associated drainage, irrigation systems and fencing at Aston Villa Football Club Bodymoor Heath Training Ground. The new pitches were constructed on a greenfield site adjacent to the clubs existing training ground.
The project was the first phase of the Club’s training facility development This is due to the acquisition by High Speed Two Ltd of AVFC land located outside the southern boundary that currently supports several training pitches which will be destroyed by the construction of the new railway.
The construction of a 45000m2 pitch platform commenced with the installation of a drainage system and the laying of irrigation pipework and electrical ducting. Ontop of a geotextile membrane, a gravel layer was installed before a lower rootzone layer was laid. Then CRL mixed fibresand upper rootzone on-site using their mobile mixing plant and this was installed accross the platform. At this stage the irrigation system was completed before the platform was covered with protective covers. When the entirety of the platform was completed, the area was fertilised and seeded.
Spectator fencing was then installed around the Academy Show Pitch and a synthetic pitch surround laid. Three weeks post seeding the Show Pitch was hybrid stitched.
Due to the large nature of the platform and logistical issues because of ongoing works on adjacent sites, the works were completed in three phases.
At the same time a number of ballstop fences were erected across the platform to suit a pitch configuration outlined by the club. The entire site was enclosed with rabbit-proof fences.
Floodlights were also erected on the Show Pitch, with a stand to follow at a later date.
The grow-in of the pitches was managed CRL and the pitches were ready for play in time for the commencement of the Club’s 2019/20 pre-season training.
The site was subject to a number of ecological planning constraints due to the adjacent Coneybury Wood being designated as Local Wildlife Site (LWS): ancient replanted woodland and Section 41 habitats of principal importance. Protection orders were also in place to protect newts, badgers and bats within the site. CRL had to undertake to carry out works in a manner which would not cause damage to the wood or harm to the aforementioned animals.