Work starts on £12m mixed-use scheme in Kent

eveloper Investin has started work on a new build development in Ashford, Kent. Designed by Holder Mathias Architects, the ‘Vista’ residential scheme will be built on either side of the former Charter House, completing the 352-unit mixed use development, and transforming unused areas of the site into apartments.


The scheme will comprise two buildings of four and six storeys, and include 109 one and two bedroom apartments. Communal roof gardens will be provided for the residents and most of the flats will include a private balcony, terrace or ground level garden. All flats will be finished to high quality specification and feature contemporary fixtures and fittings. Holder Mathias’ concept responded to a complex project brief to maximise available space on a constrained island site, achieving large scale development while reacting sensitively to the height

and scale of the surrounding buildings. The design was subsequently adapted to integrate Ashford Borough Council Residential Space Standards without detriment. In preparing for construction, innovations in modern methods of construction and off-site manufacture proposed by the contractor and their consultants have been investigated and adopted to provide for thermal efficiency and a simpler, faster construction programme. Chris Hall, director at Holder Mathias, said the Vista development will “transform an under-utilised central site to provide quality homes for the area.” Construction has already started on site, with completion expected January 2019.

Planning awarded for 170-home Becontree Heath development

ountryside has been granted planning permission for a new neighbourhood renewal scheme in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, subject to a Section 106 agreement being finalised. The site in Dagenham, known as Becontree Heath, covers three parcels of land on Wood Lane, near the Grade II listed Art Deco Dagenham Civic Centre. It will comprise 170 homes, alongside a replacement bus terminus and retail space for a local pharmacy. The regeneration project is providing the local area with a mix of both market and shared ownership homes. With support from the Greater London Authority (GLA) for the project, Countryside submitted a plan for 124 privately owned homes (comprising 82 apartments and 42 houses) and 46 shared ownership apartments. With a mix of one, two and three-bed apartments and three- bedroom houses, the development is intended to attract a variety of London buyers. Andy Fancy, operations director at Countryside Partnerships,


said: “We have had an excellent response and great cooperation from the local community and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham during the consultation on this development. “We believe that our plans for Becontree Heath will transform the area, while providing much needed homes to the region and supporting new and existing communities.”


The successful application included connecting the entire development to the borough’s district heat network. The scheme will deliver heat from an energy centre directly to the end user, and captures power that may ordinarily be lost, in turn lowering costs and reducing the scheme’s carbon footprint. After consultation with the community, improved pedestrian

links, landscaping that includes play areas and parking provision are also part of the submission.

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