The project is expected to reduce 319 tonnes of CO2 each year, and help towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
The project will not necessarily impact on the cost of your energy bills. However, it means that energy is being provided through sustainable and innovative means.
The overall cost of the project is £7.7m, with the European Regional Development Fund contributing 50% (£3.85m). The Council are funding the remaining 50%.
Drilling investigation works have been ongoing as part of the testing phase of the project.
Target mineworkings have now been hit at a depth of 291m.
Testing will continue on the site and wider boreholes will be constructed.
During the drilling, there will several vehicles and machinery on site. There will also be an increase in noise levels during the works, however, measures have been put in place to minimise the impact of this.
The drilling works have been delayed due to problems with abstraction borehole instability and proving sustainable mine water resource. The drilling works are now expected to be complete by November 2022.
Vital Energy has begun works on the Energy Centre Network, and plan to start works in Durham Court in August 2022.
The project is due to be completed in Autumn 2023.
Work start and finish times:
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 8am till 1pm
No work will take place on Sundays or public holidays
If works take longer than expected, nearby residents will be told as soon as possible.
There will be some noise, but no more than a normal construction site.
There may be:
some dust coming from the works - this will be controlled in line with health and safety guidelines and suppressed where possible
some mud within the site - if the mud gets onto the road or footpath, it will be swept away to remove any hazard
no interference will be experienced within the flats during the works. In the Summer of 2022, it is planned to install the new heating pipe work / equipment in the building plant rooms, with final connections to the new network taking place in the Spring of 2023
Two drilling rigs will be on site to drill the boreholes, and cranes will be needed temporarily.
There will deliveries while the site is being set up and throughout the drillings.
The works will not:
cause any vibration, ground sinking or ground collapsing
interfere with your gas, electric or water supply
Restrictions to roads and car parks
Access to houses, apartments and shops will be available at all times.
Some roads will be closed but there will be alternative routes available.
The car park near the BT telephone box, to the south of St John's Precinct will have restricted access. Other car parks next to Hebburn Central are available.
The footpath on the north side of Victoria Road West, next to the site, will be closed. There will be a temporary crossing provided near to the junction of Derby Crescent.
Site location and access
The drilling site will be set up near the TSB Bank and old Roadhouse Pub site, off Victoria Road West (A185). The compound will be set up opposite the drilling site, on grassland which used to be the Mountbatten Medical Centre.
Please see below for site map.
The map shows two areas which have been outlined in red. The drill site is on the left and the site compound is on the right.
Workers will get access from Victoria Road West (behind Mountbatten Shopping Centre).
The site will be secured at all times.
Information for business owners
Parking at the shopping centre, which is south of St John's precinct, will be restricted.
Other car parks are available next to Hebburn Central.
There may be:
some local road closures or diversions (there will always be access to the shopping centre)
large deliveries and vehicle movements which may temporarily restrict access - this will be kept to an absolute minimum, and business owners will be told in advance
The works will not:
restrict access to your shop or premises for long periods of time
cause you to close your shop
affect your business hours and operations
The contractor has prepared a Drilling Risk Assessment and Method Statement, which includes emergency procedures for managing and controlling the escape or release of mine gases. However, the risk of this happening is low.
If mine gasses do escape, the contractor will start its emergency procedures.
An alarm will be raised by the sounding of constant blast on an air horn. If the alarm is raised, we ask that you close all windows in your home / premises and we recommend you stay indoors.
Once the emergency has been dealt with and the borehole / drilling site classed safe to continue work, there will be two long blasts on air horn to confirm this.