Grass roof added to sewage plant
A grass roof said to be the biggest of its kind in the UK has been completed on top of a new £300 million sewage plant to help it blend in with surrounding downland.
Measuring almost 18,000 square metres - the equivalent of four and a half football pitches - the grass roof is the defining feature of Southern Water's works at Peacehaven, East Sussex.
Its construction follows opposition from some sections of the local community who dubbed the area "Poohaven" amid anger that the small coastal town was being forced to handle sewage from its larger neighbour, Brighton and Hove.
Grown from a mix of grass seeds cultivated in the past 15 months in Cambridgeshire, Southern Water aimed for the roof to fit in with the natural beauty of the South Downs.
Once completed by March 2013 after almost four years of construction, the plant will treat 95 million litres of wastewater generated by households in Brighton and Hove and the surrounding areas.
Ben Green, Southern Water's programme manager, said: "The roof, designed to fit in with the local landscape, will be 'living'. It responds, it adapts, it evolves with the landscape."
The works, which have been nine years in the planning, also include 11km of sewer tunnel, two pumping stations and 2.5km of long sea outfall.