Stacklands Retreat, West Kingsdown, Kent

Brooklands Homes appointed us to be Principal Contractor for the asbestos removal and demolition phase of the infamous site.

Downwell were appointed by Brookworth Homes to complete the demolition and asbestos removal at the Stacklands Retreat demolition site. The site was a dilapidated religious retreat that has been disused and neglected for many years now. The site has been all over the media due to reports of spooky goings on, human sacrifice and even exorcisms. We are pleased to report that no demolition operatives were haunted during the project.

Scope of Works

  • There were 3, double storey, pitched roof structures making up the Stacklands retreat site. All three of the structures were to be demolished to the ground and cleared away.
  • There was no soft strip work required due to the dilapidated state of the structures. One of the buildings had also been subjected to fire damage which deemed it unsafe to enter.
  • Inner City Environmental were tasked with clearing all of the asbestos containing materials from the 3 buildings. Both licensed and non-licensed asbestos removal were required to clear the buildings. Decontamination units were provided, air tight areas under negative pressure were installed to ensure all of the ACMs were removed safely.
  • The brick built structures were then safely and in a controlled manner demolished using standard height demolition equipment. The machine started by gradually removing the roof structure and sorting the materials into the different waste streams for recycling.
  • To help suppress the dust during the demolition works an operative stood at a safe distance from the building and the machine and controlled the dust using a water hose.
  • The brick walls of the building were demolished by the same machine gradually munching down the walls so that the bricks fall within the footprint of the building. The building is reduced in such a way that it remains structurally stable at all times.
  • Once the walls had been reduced, all of the masonry arisings were loaded into tipper trucks and removed from site to be recycled.
  • The concrete ground slabs and the foundations beneath were dug out using the excavators bucket. These lumps were then broken into small sections so that they could be loaded into a tipper. The ground was cleared of obstructions down to 2m below ground level.

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Project Name: Stacklands Retreat

School Lane, West Kingsdown, Kent, TN15 6AW

Brookworth Homes

Project Dates:
Jan 18 - Feb 18

Project Value:

100 years of demolition experience


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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement - Wednesday 25th March

The Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening signalled the introduction of more stringent restrictions on us all and has specifically indicated that members of the public should only leave their home for very limited purposes. The message indicates that we should travel to and from work, only where this is absolutely necessary.

The management of the Downwell Group of companies which includes: Downwell Demolition, Inner City Environmental and Inner City Scaffolding has very carefully considered both the meaning and the spirit of the Prime Minister’s statement and whilst there has been some clarification from government subsequently that building sites could continue to operate, we came to the very clear decision yesterday that it was necessary for us, as a responsible contractor, to safely and securely close down our operational sites as soon as reasonably possible. Doing so will assist in maintaining the wellbeing of our customers, employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and the wider communities within which we build.

All sites have been closed down in a safe and secure manner and will remain closed until further notice.

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all the key workers on the frontline who are continiung working for the good of us all.