Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

New-Build Housing at Coventry Court, Eastbourne

Demolition and redevelopment of a dilapidated building to make way for the design and construction of 23 mixed-use units

The Project

Faithorn Farrell Timms was appointed by Eastbourne Homes in October 2014 to provide Employer’s Agent services for the re-development of a site for the new build of 23 dwellings, including 8 three bedroom houses, five two bedroom houses, eight two bedroom flats and two one bedroom flats. The three bedroom houses were used for shared ownership, with the remaining units for general needs rent. A minimum of one parking bay was provided per dwelling, with some offering two, along with a bicycle store.

Coventry Court, a dilapidated building providing only basic bedsit accommodation with shared bathroom facilities, was demolished in 2014 to make way for the design and construction of the 23 new mixed-use units. The original building was no longer fit for purpose and in a state of considerable disrepair. The site forms part of the Eastbourne Borough Council’s housing portfolio and the former building was reflective in its architectural detailing of other similar blocks in the town

The project aimed to meet the growing housing demand across a range of tenures and provide improvements to the public realm. Eastbourne Homes hoped to relieve the pressure of local housing need without compromising on quality.

Our Role

We oversaw the demolition works of the concrete frame structure with a flat roof, which took eight weeks to execute. During demolition, asbestos containing materials, as confirmed in the Refurbishment and Demolition Survey Report provided by our client at tender stage, were removed by specialists. No evidence of any ground contamination requiring remediation was found.

At the outset, we produced a comprehensive monthly progress information release schedule, which identified items requiring input from the core team, including our client, the contractor and consultant. This was reviewed at each monthly meeting and updated in accordance with the programme to ensure dates indicated on the critical path of the contractor’s programme were adhered to.

We organised and chaired all progress and design meetings as well as preparing monthly cost reports and a project summary for our client for use at their internal reviewing meetings with board members and the Chief Executive.

The construction phase was fifty-two weeks and the successful contractor, following a single stage selective tender process, was Thakeham Client.

The Challenges

  • The project was a high-profile scheme as it was the first development Eastbourne Borough Council had completed in over 25 years and, therefore, there were a lot of interested parties watching progress including a number of local councillors and the Chief Executive of Eastbourne Borough Council.
  • During the early stages, we encountered extremely unfavourable weather conditions which could have caused potential delays to the scheme.

The Solution

The project ran very smoothly despite unfavourable weather, which required particularly vigilant site inspections and monitoring to ensure the impact on the programme was negated and that our client was kept informed at all stages of any potential delays.

The project completed eight weeks ahead of schedule and under budget, delivering above and beyond expectation. The scheme was a huge success with all units occupied within a few weeks of completion.

Added Value

Eastbourne Borough Council were very proud of the development and received extremely positive feed-back from local residents, councillors, and board members. The scheme has since won an award for Best New Developer for Eastbourne Borough Council at the National Housing Awards in May 2016.

To receive national recognition is tremendously exciting for everyone connected to the Housing & Economic Development Partnership (HEDP).

Ian Fitzpatrick

Managing Director, Eastbourne Homes Ltd