Summer is definitely over as the rain is with us again, but while the rain will slow us down it wont stop us from making progress.
We are nearly complete along the B3190 through Upton with the final houses here going live this week, slightly later than planned as we had a fault with our small plow and managed to bend the blade on the Fendt plow, which was quite a feat! However both are now back in action again and we put in another 4km of duct last week.
We have finally had the required permissions from SCC Highways for the road crossings which have held up construction on a number of sections of the route, hopefully the working relationship between our Streetworks Contractors and Highways is improving and these problems are behind us.
We’ve also just confirmed orders for another Quad Tracked Plow and another excavator which are due for delivery to us in mid November which will aid our build progress as the weather turns. Availability of Plant has become a major industry problem with no availability for smaller excavators until March 2021 across all manufacturers with the issue seeming to be a combination of massive demand and shortage of supply.
In addition to the new kit, we are also looking to expand our civils team, specifically we have positions for both Machine operators and labourers on a 12 month basis, so if you know anyone looking for work please get in touch.
We are currently averaging 125 days from voucher approval to live service, which is a little higher than we planned, but caused in part by the longest 325 day period in the Skilgate Central area. Our fastest turnaround was 5 days from signup to live.
We appreciate the frustrations while waiting for us to reach you and we would love to be able to build faster and connect everyone quicker. I’m sure you all appreciate that at times we have to relocate our resources either due to obstacles preventing progress or weather & ground conditions or at other times to progress areas we can deliver live service – with a large proportion of our funding for the build coming from voucher delivery (we only receive the funding after we deliver the live connection) we naturally have to prioritise some areas at times, please dont think we have ignored your or you’ve been overlooked.
The roadworks were completed successfully at the end of August despite the weather and other issues and the bulk of Skilgate are now connected, with just the Magna Housing properties to complete. We hope to have a green light for these in the next week so will be looking to complete these and the remaining house in the village before the middle of the month.
The southern section is now complete, with the bulk of the properties along the northern side are either live or having their drop fibre connections installed this week.
The 2 Road crossings are permitted between the 20th October and 31st October which will allow us to progress to the West and North of Hayne Farm, covering the properties around Rainsbury and Hansletown.
Lotley & Bittescombe Hill Area
Most of the duct route is complete from the Lakes to Lotely, Oxenleaze & Bittescombe Hill, with a few joining sections / hedge crossings to complete which are in progress plus the steep section down to Bittescombe Hill Farm. The large excavator for the lakes should be onsite in the next week or 2 to complete that section, at which point fibre can be blown and the final drops completed as far as Lotley,Oxenleaze and Bittescombe Hill Farm clusters.
We successfully plowed the duct down to the end of the Huish Moor track and this was jointed this morning including the stream crossing. We’ll be in touch with individual properties this week to arrange a specific route survey and the road crossing for Huish Cleeve road is approved for the end of October.
Huish Central Village
Again the duct from Smiths Farm towards the village centre was plowed last week, so we’ll be aiming to connect the first property in the village central area during October and the remainder of the village during November, once final approval on some land access is granted.
The long awaited road crossing from Catford to Coombe Park is approved with dates between the 15th and 21st October. Duct is installed as far as West Coombe Farm and part installed upto East Coombe Farm, with more work planned in the area this week in preparation for the road crossing and subsequent fibre blowing.
The 3 initial road crossings from Sperry Barton to the North and West are approved for the end of October and combined with the work for Huish North will allow progress towards these areas later in the year as resources complete other sections. We appreciate the long wait for progress and will be in touch regarding route planning in the coming weeks.
Properties closer to the south and west should see us in contact once the road crossings are completed.
DCMS granted final approval last week for the Waterrow scheme and we have processed the initial batches of voucher applications which should land in your email this weekend.
We’ll be placing the order for our backhaul connection to London Docklands in the coming weeks which generally has a 90 days leadtime (often more), so while we will be making a start on the build here prior to this being live, realistically we would expect to be getting live connections from Feb 2021
DCMS granted final approval earlier this month for the Chipstable area and we have processed the initial batches of voucher applications most of which have now been approved and issued.
Parts of Chipstable will be directly serviced from the spurs from Huish Champflower & Oxenleaze areas, and other parts are likely to be connected back to Waterrow, as our build plans firm up and we know our weather windows we should be able to provide greater clarity for each cluster.
DCMS granted final approval last week for the Raddington, Petton and Venn Cross area and we have processed the initial batches of voucher applications which should land in your email this weekend.
Parts of the Raddington area will be directly serviced from the spurs from Bittescombe Hill, Oxenleaze and Gamblyn Farm areas, and other parts are likely to be connected back to Waterrow & Chipstable, as our build plans firm up and we know our weather windows we should be able to provide greater clarity for each cluster.
All Approved Areas
If you’ve signed up and opted to apply for your voucher immediately these are processed now, with an effective order date of Sept / Oct 2020 and once approved start the 12 month build period.
If you opted not to apply immediately and now wish to do so please drop us an email and we will start the process.
If you still have queries and would like to discuss the scheme with us, we will be in touch later this month to guide you through the scheme and the voucher process.
The email from DCMS to validate your application often end in spam, so worth checking there if you were expecting to be applying immediately.
Any questions or if any of your neighbours would like to sign up please get in touch.
Stay safe and stay dry