CJ Associates’ Tim Butcher is a chartered town planner with over 20 years’ experience. For the last four years, Tim has worked as a consultant to HS2 alongside the enabling and main works contractors in the Central area to deliver timely Schedule 17 consents. His role has been to represent the Nominated Undertaker’s interests and obligations, managing town planning, engineering, environmental and other professionals to deliver consentable designs. He is responsible for maintaining relationships with local planning authorities, giving them oversight of the forthcoming programme, and ensuring their successful engagement in the pre-application process

Tim has been assisting EKFB JV to prepare Schedule 17 consents for 80km of high speed line, including 17 viaducts, 75 overbridges, 24 million cubic metres of excavation and 330 hectares of landscape planting.   An article in December’s New Civil Engineer outlines the design process, design inspiration and challenges overcome in the lead up to the construction of the Wendover viaducts, two of the most prominent structures being built in this section of HS2.  Tim worked with the architect and landscape designers to understand the constraints, including several undertakings and assurances given to the Secretary of State, in order to develop consentable designs for Wendover and Small Dean viaducts from the HS2 Act’s functional reference design.  He has led the interaction between HS2 and local stakeholders, including the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Review Group and Buckinghamshire’s Local Planning Authority to ensure the appearance of the viaducts is carefully considered in order to preserve the AONB environment.  

The design of Wendover Dean viaduct is conceptually simple – an apparently slender and comparatively bright line set against a background of fields, making use of colour and shade to visually suppress the depth of the structure.  The slender deck (the first double-composite design in the UK), and development of the piers, abutments and landscape contours are notable examples of where stakeholder dialogue positively influenced the design.  This language was developed further for Small Dean viaduct to ensure it holds interest when it is experienced at much closer quarters by the public using the A413 and other public rights of way, including additional weathering steel ‘fins’ to articulate the deck, and innovative terraced earthworks to help integrate the structure into the landscape.

Twin Feats – New Civil Engineering December 2020

Computer generated image (CGI) of the Wendover Dean and Small Dean viaduct (SDV)