Next steps for Nexus Learning Centre construction in South Shields: Special permission needed for team building new £8.4million facility

Workers constructing an £8.4million transport training facility have been given permission to operate extended hours - to guarantee it is built on firm foundations.
How the centre will look when it's completeHow the centre will look when it's complete
How the centre will look when it's complete

The construction team said the extra hours will ensure a special finish can be applied to concrete being poured into the base of the Nexus Learning Centre, being built at the end of the line in South Shields.

Contractors say they need to work into the night on four days over the next month – but only if the weather is dry.

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That will allow them to apply a technique known as “power floating”, which creates a smooth, dense and level surface finish to concrete beds.

It is carried out when concrete has been poured into its correct place and allowed to partially set for six hours.

However, project developer Nexus, which operates the Tyne and Wear Metro system, says contracting firm Galliford Try may have to work to 10pm to ensure success.

That is four hours later than allowed under existing, approved project guidelines.

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It is the second time Nexus has asked South Tyneside Council for permission to change agreed planning rules.

Last August it was granted permission to move the location of the planned structure five metres north-west.

It admitted to not meeting requirements around the width of the track being used, signalling and space for driver walkways needed for the scheme at South Shields.

And Nexus accepted it had failed to take in to account the amount of straight track necessary to link the centre to the existing Metro rail network which ends at the town’s station.

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In granting latest planning approval, a council report said the work needed was time sensitive and once begun it must be completed in one continuous shift – with a dry day necessary.

“The exact date cannot be fixed until an accurate forecast can be obtained,” the report reads.

The extension could take place this week and next week, and also on weeks starting August 8 and August 15.