Social housing: the challenges

Local authorities and their procurement partners in framework agreements are at the heart of their local communities, working across a wide range of housing projects to deliver homes in the quantity and to the quality needed to serve their cities or regions. Whitescape is currently working with Portsmouth City Council as principal contractor on three separate four-year frameworks. Collaborative frameworks help to reduce cost across this large public sector estate, not least by developing and sharing best practice. It also speeds up time to market, as a 12-week OJEU procurement process can be reduced to [...]

August 30th, 2016|Categories: News, Residential|

New homes on a brownfield site

Hampton Hill is a ‘suburban village’ in southwest London, close to the Thames, the Royal Parks and historic Hampton Court. The High Street is a vibrant mix of local traders, businesses and residential properties. When a site to the rear of buildings on the High Street became available, it was a rare opportunity to develop a group of four high-end, three-bedroom traditional town houses at the heart of this sought-after community. Challenges and solutions For the ground conditions, the engineer proposed 44 no 300mm diameter piles, bored to depths of up to 15m. The confined [...]

July 4th, 2016|Categories: News, Residential|

Supported living for vulnerable adults

Whitley Rise is a £2m development by Reading Borough Council and jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, that will provide eleven purpose-built flats for vulnerable adults. Intended to offer a real alternative to residential care, the scheme will offer the best of all worlds: privacy and independence combined with support and care. Building with a specialist purpose The vulnerable adults who will live at Whitley Rise may be elderly, have a learning, physical or sensory disability, or otherwise need assistance to live independent lives. The building is designed to accommodate all possible needs, [...]

June 14th, 2016|Categories: News, Residential|

A fresh start for housing blocks

Fulmer Walk was originally a 1970s council estate built by Portsmouth City Council. The estate's centre had been redeveloped in 2003 with new housing and buildings for the local community. In 2015, Whitescape undertook the external and communal decoration, repair and improvements to 54 units in four blocks, now occupied by a mix of private owners and tenants. Repair and renewal programme The work included concrete repairs, proteous waterproofing to communal stairwells, screed and asphalt renewal to private balconies, replacing private screens to balconies and new trespa infill panels to communal walkway railings. We also [...]

June 14th, 2016|Categories: News, Residential|

How to resolve the housing crisis?

In a recent poll conducted for the Observer, 81% of respondents agreed that Britain is in the throes of a housing crisis. Blame is variously laid at the feet of immigration policies, foreign investors, right-to-buy schemes, the buy-to-let boom and developers holding onto land after consents are granted. Waiting lists for social housing in England still stand at around 1.25 million, despite the impact of the Localism Act enabling councils to strike people off their lists, or refuse new applicants who do not have a local connection. That in itself has put more pressure on [...]

June 14th, 2016|Categories: News, Residential|

Getting it right for occupants

When we work on housing projects, we are dealing with more than just bricks and mortar. We are in a front-line people business, where the outcome is as much about the existing or eventual occupant as the local authority, housing association or private developer who has awarded us the contract. So we need to understand the effect of our work on our ‘customer’s customer’, whether that is an individual tenant or a whole community. This is particularly important when we are working on social housing projects, where we are transforming lives as well as building, [...]

June 6th, 2016|Categories: News, Residential|