Project | Estuary Housing Association, Shenfield Bloodbank
Estuary Housing Assocation
New Build Apartments at Shenfield Bloodbank Site
Well-Managed Aﬀordable Homes Development Redresses Accommodation Imbalance in Prime Commuter Location
Based on a longstanding track record of working with Estuary Housing Association under various roles, FFT was appointed in December 2020 by the organisation’s development team to provide Employer’s Agent and Cost Consultant services to oversee a much-needed aﬀordable housing development, helping to redress an accommodation imbalance in a prime commuter location in Essex.
Long term FFT client Estuary Housing Association is a not-for-proﬁt organisation with a strong social purpose and clear focus on building ‘communities not just homes’. They own and manage over 4,600 properties across Essex, East London and Suﬀolk, oﬀering a range of aﬀordable rent and shared ownership options, as well as operating a variety of supported living and registered care facilities.
- Employer’s Agent
- Cost Consultant
Fairview New Homes had purchased a plot of land in Brentwood, Essex, comprising a former NHS blood donation and test centre which had been closed in 2015 and subsequently demolished. The site, earmarked for redevelopment, was originally made up of the blood centre building, associated workshops and carpark, and around half a hectare of greenbelt-protected green space and woodland.
With a lack of aﬀordable housing in what is considered a comparatively expensive place to live, Fairview had agreed to give over part of the development to Estuary with a view to redressing the imbalance of accommodation in the area.
The development plans included eleven new build apartments in a self-contained block, providing a range of aﬀordable and shared ownership homes in a semi-rural location on an ideally situated London commuter route in Essex.
FFT was commissioned to agree variant speciﬁcations for each type of accommodation. Because the speciﬁcations diﬀered from the Fairview New Homes standard, a derogation schedule was required for comparison between the speciﬁcations and to show where changes would be necessary.
As well as overseeing this, FFT was also responsible for conducting a costings exercise for the works, with revised ﬁgures agreed on an add/omit basis.
The Estuary development formed part of a larger gated estate, which meant that careful consideration would be required in regard to ongoing maintenance and management responsibilities between the Estuary estate management team and the appointed managing agent.
Service charges needed special consideration, given that areas would be split between the parties once the development was occupied.
A further challenge arose due to the semi-rural location, which was home to a number of trees protected under a Tree Preservation Order. The works therefore required careful management in order to preserve the root base of the trees. What’s more, a number of ecological surveys highlighted various species of wildlife in the area, which also required specialist consideration to ensure their habitat was protected.
The completed development is a beneﬁcial addition for residents in an ideally situated commuter location that has been sorely lacking in aﬀordable housing. The preservation of greenbelt features, including the protected trees and vital wildlife habitats, added signiﬁcant environmental value.