January saw the completion and handover of a great project we have been working on, acting as Employer’s Agent and CDM Advisor for Orbit Homes and BECHA – Bexley Community Housing Association. The scheme was a new build construction of 12 flats (6 x 2 bedroom, 5 x 1 bedroom and 1 x 1 bedroom with wheelchair access) at Whitehall Lane in Bexley.
This was a really interesting project for Martello, as we were involved right from the outset in the search for, and selection of sites for development. Our feasibility review of a variety of car park/garage sites identified that the Whitehall Lane area, which was a block of garages and had been beset by a history of anti-social behaviour activity, was the ideal site for the scheme.
Martello worked with the architect – Peter Taylor Associates and Orbit Homes through a robust planning process, to gain approval for the scheme and then ran a competitive tender process for the Principal Contractor, which was won by Chartway Group, with work starting on site in October 2017.
The building is a modern three storey, flat roof, timber frame construction with brick and feature cladding. There are photovoltaic panels on the roof, providing power for the communal areas of the block and in the car park there are car charging points available.
The development was delivered on time and to budget and has provided much needed, good quality housing at an affordable level to local people in Slade Green and Erith.
Upon completion of the build, the flats were taken over by BECHA – members of the G320 which represents small housing associations in London with fewer than 1000 homes, as part of the National Housing Federation London.
Susan Daniels, CEO of BECHA said, “The pressure on smaller housing organisations, including members of the G320, to do their bit in providing new homes has been increasing in recent years. This opportunity really demonstrates how housing organisations can and should work together for the common good – in this instance the professional support from Orbit was a key factor in the success. BECHA was also fortunate to secure financial support from the GLA to supplement our bank funding.”
Andrew Cruttenden – Director of Martello Building Consultancy said, “The Whitehall Lane scheme was an excellent example of making the best use of a piece of land that was not being used in the way it was originally designed for. Being involved right from site selection was very rewarding and it was really great to see a large Housing Association like Orbit Homes taking on a scheme like this working with a smaller HA.”