Countryside code: how a rural estate tackled access issues

A large rural estate adopted an electromechanical solution to its varied access challenges

When you think of projects that need a master key system, commercial or educational settings or other large buildings spring to mind but access rights exist across a wide variety of environments.

Hean Castle Estate in south west

Wales covers 1,200 acres and has complex key control issues. It owns and manages a diverse portfolio of land and property around the village of Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire and operates a range of different enterprises, including beef farming, forestry and biofuel production, two substantial holiday caravan parks and a beach centre, together with a significant portfolio of leased commercial properties.

Previously, the Estate used a mechanical master key system, which posed a number of specific challenges. The first of these was around lost keys, with one lost key potentially compromising the entire system. The second challenge was around the inflexibility of the mechanical master key set-up. Due to the number of different departments on the Estate and the areas they each required access to, this often involved members of staff having to swap keys, or members of the management team having to attend remote sites in order to provide access.

The solution was ASSA CLIQ® Remote from the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. Supplied and installed by local distributor Lock-Tech, ASSA CLIQ® Remote is an electromechanical solution, using high-end micro-electronics and programmable keys and cylinders. The solution enables the team to grant key holders, regardless of their location, remote access to properties and facilities on the estate, saving time and money around key control.

The system was first installed in the Estate’s administrative office and a series of adjoining workshop buildings, and has been expanded across Hean Castle Estate ever since. Almost 80 cylinders and padlocks have been fitted across the site, with 40 CLIQ® keys in use and seven wall PD units installed, which allow users to update their key credentials without having to visit an administrator.

David Lewis, trustee at Hean Castle Estate, explains: “ASSA CLIQ® Remote has proven to be a great success across the Hean Castle Estate. Firstly, lost keys are no longer an issue. For instance, we had one case where an employee forgot to return their key when leaving the business. With ASSA CLIQ® Remote, this problem was quickly remedied, by simply revoking their access rights. From a security and peace of mind perspective, it’s difficult to fault.

 “Secondly, the ease with which access rights can be set up is a big benefit. For example, we programmed the system so that the our staff’s access credentials end half an hour after their shift has finished. And with many different contractors, such as electricians and engineers, visiting our site, ASSA CLIQ® Remote lets us give these professionals access to only the areas they need. In comparison, with a mechanical master key system, a member of our team would have to escort them to the building and wait for the job to be done. Given how geographically dispersed the Estate is, this would waste a lot of our team’s time, but this is no longer an issue with ASSA CLIQ® Remote.

 “We have worked with Lock-Tech for a long time and always receive excellent service, and the same can be said of ASSA ABLOY too, who have been very quick to respond to any questions we may have.”

 Nojmol Islam, category product manager, El mech & new technologies at ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, said the Hean Castle Estate. is “a perfect example of how versatile the solution is, with it being used in a range of applications, from outbuildings and doors to gates and residential properties”.

He added: “This includes ASSA CLIQ® Remote’s weatherproof padlocks, which have been fitted to a number of gates and car park barriers across the site. Meeting the highest rating for IP68, these padlocks are ideally suited to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, in applications that are exposed to the elements all the year round.”

David Lewis says the system is also future proofed. “As the Estate expands, the ASSA CLIQ® Remote system can grow with it. The system is now simply part of the infrastructure of the Estate; should we need more cylinders or padlocks added to it, then this is an easy and hassle-free process.”

Story for AIJ? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in Features