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Havering Borough Council has used Bituchem’s Natratex hard landscaping material as part of regeneration works on Raphael Park in Romford. As part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project, £1.87 million has been assigned for the restoration of the public parks to provide a cleaner and safer environment for the users to enjoy.
Natratex is Bituchem’s leading product and was specified by architects, Chris Blandford Associates, to resurface the footpaths in the park. Chosen for its aesthetics and previous success on a similar project, Natratex allows the hard landscaping to blend in with the natural surroundings to create a less urbanised look.
Raphael Park is one of the leisure areas that spreads northwards from the railway line in Romford and was in need of rejuvenating to provide a pleasant area for local residents to enjoy. After having been used on Spinney Hill Park, a previous Heritage Lottery Funded scheme in Leicester, Natratex was specified for its aesthetic and durable qualities.
Applied by surface contractors Spade Oak, Natratex in Buff was used on the footpaths to increase the safety through better visibility in fading light and improving the surface quality through the elimination of cracks and potholes. The vibrant yet natural colour provides an element of creativity while harmonising with the green surroundings, proving a refreshing option to the typical grey surfaces used in public areas.
Don Stewart of Havering Borough Council and Parks Project Manager, explains why Natratex was chosen. “During the design stage of the Raphael Park restoration project the Council looked at a range of options for the finished footpath surface including traditional asphalt, resin bound gravel and a breedon gravel type treatment. The Council’s design criteria for the footpath surface treatment were the need to provide value for money, a minimal future maintenance requirement and the provision of a tough surface that would withstand relatively heavy use and that would remain attractive in the setting of an historic park. Following research and many site visits the Council chose Natratex. The footpaths contribute significantly to a transformed historic urban park which is loved by thousands of local people”.
The mechanics and functionality of Natratex is similar to traditional asphalt as it is laid and compacted at the same nominal thickness, using conventional equipment. The combination of the specially formulated clear binder and decorative aggregate produces a hardwearing surfacing material while offering an attractive natural stone finish.
The versatility of Natratex is demonstrated in its numerous applications from residential roads and driveways, pavements and cycle paths to playgrounds, car parks and area demarcation. It can be applied all year round and the Bituchem design team is available to suggest solutions to individual requirements, tailoring the aggregate type to suit the contract specification.