Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

Redevelopment at Sumach Close, Eastbourne

the project

Faithorn Farrell Timms was appointed by Eastbourne Borough Council to provide Employer’s Agent and Principal Designer services for the redevelopment of an area of green space, located to the South West of Sumach Close, which was poorly used as general amenity space and for car parking. This followed the successful delivery of Coventry Court, Eastbourne which comprised 23 dwellings, including eight three bedroom houses, five two bedroom houses, eight two bedroom flats and two one bedroom flats and Longstone Road, Eastbourne which comprised eight two bedroom dwellings.

The Council aimed to create a cost effective and sustainable housing development appropriate to its surroundings. The new homes were to be made available for affordable rent.

our role

The site is in an area of mainly residential development, predominately from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. The surrounding area has a clear design style of red brick buildings, with a mix of rendered or hanging tile facades and features breaking up the brick. Pitched, tiled roofs are dominant.

The council specified that the scheme should relate in scale and height to the surrounding houses and complement the appearance of the prevailing architectural vernacular of the location.

Development proposals were expected to secure high levels of sustainable and manageable energy efficiency for the homes, with particular emphasis on reducing energy costs for the future residents that can be easily and cost-effectively maintained. The long-term sustainability of properties needed to be considered.

the challenges

Eastbourne Borough Council appointed Liam Russell Architects to take forward the project and obtain planning permission, which they duly did. However, upon our review, we highlighted a critical issue: part of the building foot print sat within 3m of a rising main which was shown on the Southern Water map provided by our client.

After consultation with Southern Water, they confirmed that the rising main either needed to be diverted or the foot print of the building needed to be moved a minimum of 3m from the centre of the pipe. A build over agreement would not be approved as the pipe in question was categorized as a major pipe. We carried out a cost and logistic review and, after presenting the information to our client, it was decided to move the footprint of the building which unfortunately involved submitting a new application.

the solution

In order to keep the project progressing, it was agreed with our client to proceed to tender based on the scheme that had received planning permission and submit the revised planning application concurrently with the tender period. It was agreed a price would need to be re-negotiated with the successful contractor to those units affected by the change in footprint adjacent to Southern Water pipe.

Faithorn Farrell Timms completed negotiations with the successful contractor to the changes to the building design on receipt of planning consent to the revised scheme. We provided our client with a value for money statement confirming the costs provided by the contractor to the revised scheme were acceptable.