Belstead Hall has been through a period of change, like many estates of its type. The Clift family are looking to break away from the traditions of farming the land and instead diversify into additional business channels. Their latest project is The Tudor Barn Belstead.
The location of The Tudor Barn Belstead, nestled deep within the Suffolk countryside, means that it is an ideal place for a wedding venue. Once a grain store and a stable for Suffolk Punch horses, the run down listed barn was a project waiting to happen and it was decided that this should provide the venue for wedding receptions, as well as being licensed in its own right for civil ceremonies.
As well as the considerable work required on the venue itself, getting the hidden utilities installed was equally important. Like so many other rural businesses, The Tudor Barn Belstead does not have a mains sewer connection and so the processing of wastewater all needs to happen on site.
The family were keen to design the site to have as little impact on the environment as possible. From the biomass boiler, to the efficient cork insulation and the recycled glass flooring, sustainability is matched to design and comfort. The sewage treatment plant was no exception and needed to have minimal environmental impact both onsite and on the wider water network that it would filter into.
Mr Clift was very keen on the Solido system. ‘The Solido treatment plant was slightly more expensive than the glass reinforced plastic alternatives, but once you start to look at the installation costs, the Solido wins. You can see and feel the quality of the tanks, they are robust and will last a lifetime. And the installation was simple and straightforward.’
The wedding venue will be able to accommodate between 120 and 150 guests, so it was important to size the sewage treatment plant to meet this requirement. We designed a 30,000 litre system comprising of 7,500 litre Solido XL tanks, all linked together. The wastewater will circulate through the tanks maximising contact with the bacteria and resulting in good quality discharge. Should The Tudor Barn Belstead decide to expand the venue in the future, the sewage treatment system can also be expanded to meet the new requirement. Due to the modular design, it would be simple to add in additional tanks to manage a greater demand.
The system is located downhill from the wedding venue so as to make use of gravity to move wastewater through the treatment plant, as a result of this we did not need to include a pumping station. The Solido provides effluent well within the safe levels for discharge to a watercourse, so the system is able to filter into the ditch further down the hill, without the use of an additional soakaway.
We also managed to keep the installation costs low thanks, in part, to the nature of the Solido system. The tanks are manufactured from high density polyethylene to a thickness of 10mm, and therefore do not require concrete fixing to fix them into place.
Our work doesn’t stop there… As the venue will be providing catering on site, we will be installing a GreaseShield grease and fat interceptor. This system will strip up to 98% of the fats released from the kitchens ensuring that they do not enter the sewage treatment plant. This will protect the system and ensure that the bacteria continues to work effectively.