Taylor’s Yard (Travis Perkin), Cheltenham


Lawson Group undertook the demolition and soft strip project of a former Travis Perkins site in Cheltenham.


The site was located off Gloucester Road in Cheltenham which meant it was in close vicinity to a residential area and had a public footpath running behind the site. Care would have to be taken to minimise dust, noise and vibration to the surrounding areas. The site consisted of several large-scale buildings with a large area of hard standings surrounding them. These buildings were constructed of a steel frame clad with tin, the former stores building had a cement asbestos roof and was located on the left side of the site.

The site was of significant interest to local historians as it was formally a railway workshop that was used to service trains. Some items such as window frames, steel columns and roof slats, from the older parts of the buildings, would need to be kept because of the historical interest. All buildings would need removing with the slab and foundations being lifted and crushed on site. There was an area of hardstanding that would remain, this was to be used for site storage during the construction phase of the works.


The site was divided into two phases as indicated on the site plans; this was to enable the construction phase of the works to start as soon as possible. The duration of the work was planned as six weeks for phase one and four weeks for phase two. The two-phase areas were split using Heras fencing. To keep the local community informed, the surrounding commercial and residential properties were notified of the pending demolition by hand delivered letter.

A CAT scan for live services was undertaken before work started and a drop zone created using Heras fencings with signage attached.
Operatives, that were tasked with carrying out soft stripping, were instructed to work in teams of not less than two operatives at any one time. No power tools were used during the soft strip process, only bars and sledgehammer.

Prior to commencing works, the structures were inspected by the site supervisor for any hazardous waste such as sharps, needles, gas containers or chemicals.

Loose contents from within the structure, including furniture, appliances, loose waste etc. were removed by hand in a controlled manner and arising’s managed in accordance with the Site Waste Management Plan. Door frames and skirting boards were removed by using bar and sledgehammers and all nails and fixings were removed from the walls. Once this was done and the Asbestos sheeting had been removed from the roof by fully qualified operatives, then the demolition and dismantling of the structures could start.

Dust suppuration equipment was set up next to the demolition excavator to minimise any dust emitting from the site. The 360-demolition excavator, with a sheer attachment, was positioned at the rear of the structure, all voids in the ground such as manholes, and sewers had been back-filled to ensure the ground was suitable. Deconstruction of the structure commenced by removing the cladding to the end of the building, this was removed by the excavator and material generated was stock piled away from the demolition area.

Using the hydraulic sheer attachment, the roof purling’s were cut back to the next supporting roof beam allowing.

The demolition excavator then removed the concrete frame, generated from the above process, and stockpiled away from the working area. Each piece of steel and concrete was thoroughly inspected for any remaining asbestos cement.

Throughout the operation, the area was thoroughly wetted with the use of water hoses to continually ensure minimum dust release.

All hard-core was stockpiled on site until all the buildings had been removed.

Starting at the edge of the buildings slab, the excavator with bucket attachment lifted the slab in large pieces, ensuring the ground below was not disturbed. Once the slab had been lifted, the excavator returned to the edge of the slab and dug around the first foundation.

The foundation was lifted out and stockpiled ready for breaking. The area of ground from where the foundation had been removed was then back filled and tracked in. This process was repeated until all foundations had been removed. Once a stockpile of concrete had been generated, a second excavator with breaker attachment then proceeded to break the concrete into pieces no bigger than 500cm2. The Mobile Crusher was operated in accordance with the Safe Operating Procedure, as stipulated by the NFDC.

Arisings were crushed to 6F2 graded concrete, loaded into a dump truck and taken to the working area. The dump truck tipped each load and the excavator spread the 6F2 out to a depth of 300mm thick across the required area.

Once the area had been spread with 6F2, the excavator tracked over it to lightly compact the area.


Any items of historical importance including metalwork, roof tiles and window frames were salvaged as requested. The site was successfully handed back to the client, ready for the next stage of development.

To find out more on how Lawson Group can help with your next demolition or asbestos removal project, call 01793 782000, email enquiries@lawsongroup.co.uk.