Gas Holder

Oxted Gasholder - Courtyard Gardens Build - May 2019

SMS Creative Photography - 20190517 Build110c.jpg

Welcome to my fifth blog about the construction process of Courtyard Gardens on the former gasholder site here in Oxted.

For those of you who live nearby and are regular readers of my blogs you will know that the gasholder no longer exists and during the past few weeks the building works have started to take shape.

The demolition of the gasholder and clearing of the site is complete ready for the building process to commence, this photograph is how the site looked on 15 April 2019.

The demolition of the gasholder and clearing of the site is complete ready for the building process to commence, this photograph is how the site looked on 15 April 2019.

St William, who specialise in redeveloping redundant gas holder sites across London and the South East has now taken over as principal contractor. The project team have now moved to the site and into the new cabins during the building process.

Friday 17th May was my first time back on site since the demolition came to an end last month and it felt like I was somewhere familiar but unfamiliar at the same time. I could see and feel the layout changing, the ground felt different, there were new faces on site, new machinery and the access areas were different and the two-storey cabins were a hive of activity.

I could really get a strong feel for the size of the land and the vastness of the build and the works that have to be done to accommodate the three blocks that will combine to make the final housing development, delivering 111 one, two and three bedroom apartments nestled in private communal landscaped gardens.

Read on to see and find out more…

The first thing you notice is the construction site entrance gates at Nursery Way have been installed and timber hoarding has progressed around the perimeter.

Groundworks have begun, starting with the removal of the tarmac from what was Johnsdale car park and the contractor is continuing to break out the concrete gasholder walls and base. Once all the concrete has been removed from the gasholder it will be processed ready for re-use on site for formation of the piling platforms.

Air quality, noise and vibration monitoring have been set up around the site by external environmental consultants which provides real-time information on the activities being undertaken.

I am finding it fascinating to photograph the building process and enjoy learning so much about it. So pleased I have captured the process from the beginning because I am already finding it hard to remember what it looked like this time last year, if it’s the same for you, you can refer back to my previous 4 blogs that started in January to refresh your memory.

During the course of the next 24 months I intend delivering one blog a month with progress photographs from my site visits - with thanks to Ness from St William for escorting and accommodating me, my cameras and my curiosity on site.

If you would like to keep up to date and sign-up to my monthly round-up newsletter please scroll down to the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button below to enter your contact email address.

I’ll be back next month with further updates, watch this space.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

Bye for now.



Oxted Gasholder April 2019 - Going, Going, Gone!


Welcome to my fourth blog about the demolition of the gas holder that I’m photographing for posterity and to satisfy my own curiosity.

Since I last wrote on 15th March a lot has happened at the demolition site and the gas holder, as you can see has gone for good!

As expected, once the roof was dismantled early last month as described in my previous blog, the next stage to remove the surround of 9 rings high took less time as a cherry picker was used with an operative working to cut away until it was at a manageable height for the next stage to take place.

The final rings of the structure came down very fast indeed with the help of a very experienced operator who, with much precision controlled a cutting machine, which resembled a pre-historic creature that chomped its way through the steel, in what appeared to be an effortless operation.

We experienced much rumbling here at the studio which sent me running with my cameras in hand to capture some of the final stages which happened within 3 days at the end of March.

I’m going to leave the photographs to do the talking as they show the final stages of the demolition process.

It really was a matter of going, going, gone and for good!

The below sequence is from the top of Snatts Hill.

Now that the demolition process is nearing completion, next month in May, St William, the contractors will take their positions on-site to put in place the start of the building process for 111 luxury - 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses.

You can see a very impressive model of the housing development at Robert Leech Estate Agents opposite the studio, it really is worth taking a look if you are keen to buy one or are just curious to know more.

The below sequence looking from a window at Priory House Dental Practice.

From Station Road East, between Carpet Right and Gloss.

A look on-site.

Various viewpoints.

It really has been a captivating and mesmerising experience photographing the process so far from various viewpoints. The photographs I have shared are just a small selection from a greater number that I intend to share at a later date.

I am going to be continuing the story over the next two years during construction and the completion of Courtyard Gardens, a wonderful new addition to our unique town - Oxted.

I hope this glimpse has taken you on an insightful historical journey.

If you would like to subscribe to my monthly round-up newsletters where these blogs will feature, please scroll down to the bottom of the page to add your contact details on the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button.

If you missed the previous 3 newsletters you can see them here on the blog page of the website.

In the meantime enjoy the weekend and I’ll be back next month with the next instalment.

Bye for now…