Southern Housing Group won the ballot for the stock transfer and together with Higgins Construction and HTA, and the residents, achieved a Regeneration Award in 2007 for best Community-led project. The complex layout responds to the tenants’ consultation, decanting and demolition programme. It sets the scene for the listed Clock Tower and surrounding community park. Phase 1 is now complete and existing tenants have now moved in the first 140 homes. At the end of three phases, 260 new affordable rent, 41 shared ownership and 120 private sale homes will be completed. Houses are built in traditional cavity wall masonry, while the flats have a concrete structure with a brick and render cladding with tiled pitched roofs. HTA worked with Higgins Construction to develop the detailed design and production information for phases one and two, and have just secured a new planning application for the final phases, which includes a higher density scheme for private sale and shared ownership as well as rent.
Consultation with residents has been carried out through each phase, with a major collaborative art event prior to demolition leading to Phase 3. We met with different specific interest groups – the residents association, METRA, and residents of the Listed Building adjoining the site, as well as holding a public exhibition for the local community.
We have used more of the space available at the top floors, and by changing the roof pitch and incorporating more terraces we have created flats which have the added value of better layouts and private amenity. We have also created value for the scheme by providing more flats than the original consent. We have responded to the features of the site to create value for each home by making the most of views, Clock Tower Avenue and Caledonian Park. The inclusion of the former council offices into this site has meant additional flats and a much better design for the street frontage and key corner of the scheme.