A multi-million pound development of apartments for the elderly has been completed in Coventry City Centre.
Bond’s Lodge, a £6.8 million three-storey development on Hill Street, features 45 self-contained apartments and a large courtyard garden for residents to enjoy.
Deeley Construction completed the project, which was designed by Nicol Thomas Architects on behalf of Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities.
The new development is the latest addition to the Almshouses in Coventry, which were founded in the early 1500s and are now sheltered housing schemes for elderly citizens in the city.
It will take the number of residents within the Almhouses to over 150 – rising from 11 in 1506.
The development has been funded by the charity’s own resources, fundraising, a grant from Homes England and a loan from the Charity Bank.
There are already 30 new residents ready to move in to the new apartments in October, with the remaining spaces expected to be filled over the next few weeks.
Victor Keene MBE, Chairman of Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities, said: “It’s thrilling to see it completed. The flats are stunning, the kitchens and bathrooms are really lovely and I think the residents will be over the moon.
“It’s going to deliver real benefits to people in the area. It’s for people who have housing difficulties and have financial needs.
“Deeley Construction have been really good to work with and the quality of the workmanship speaks for itself. The charity is now over 500 years old and we still have the existing buildings. So we have every expectation that these will last us another 500 years!
“We feel fortunate that this site became available close to two of our principal Almhouses, so it creates a little village right in the middle of the city.”
The development was awarded to Deeley Construction under the Homes England DPP3 framework.
It marks the final piece of the Belgrade Plaza redevelopment for the Deeley Group, nearly 14 years after the firm’s first development in the area.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “It’s amazing to see Bond’s Lodge come alive and it is an excellent product as part of the mixed-use scheme at Belgrade Plaza.
“We believe it is an exemplar of city centre living with retirement living next to student and market rental, therefore a real example of intergenerational living and how new communities can be developed.
“Our work here started over a decade ago and was a catalyst for much needed regeneration in Coventry, so it’s a huge milestone for us to see it completed.
“This is an extra-care scheme for local people, which will enable them to live in the centre of the city and thrive in a fantastic environment.”
Coventry contractor and developer Deeley Construction has handed over the extension to the Millburn House based Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility after completing the £950,000 construction contract.
The single-storey extension features a lobby, plantroom and an NMR hall.
It will house the UK’s first 1 GHz solid-state NMR spectrometer – which is built around an incredibly powerful magnet – that will be used by scientists from across the UK in research for a range of applications and industries including pharmaceuticals, drug delivery and materials research.
The whole project was made possible by £8 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of a wider £20 million investment in the cutting-edge technology across the country.
Deeley Construction completed the project in a controlled environment due to the close proximity of the other academic departments. The wider project team included Ridge & Partners (employers’ representative), BMJ Architects, CPW (consultant M&E design engineers) and Scott White & Hookins (structural engineers).
Martin Gallagher, Managing Director of Deeley Construction, said: “As a company, we have worked on many varied projects and this extension at Millburn House is a further example of that. I’ve certainly developed my understanding of NMR technology!
“The project has been delivered via the University’s Lot 1 contractors framework which made it a very strong partnership between everyone involved and that is always the best way to produce a positive result, which is exactly what we have here.
“As a Coventry-based company, we are very proud to have played a part in this nationally significant research facility that will bring scientists from all over the country to the University of Warwick.”
Professor Steven Brown in the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics and Director of the UK High-Field Solid-State NMR Facility, said: “The Millburn House based Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Centre at the University of Warwick is the largest solid-state NMR laboratory in the UK which currently houses the 850 MHz High Field National Facility.
“As part of the EPSRC/BBSRC research councils’ initiative to expand the national high field solid-state NMR capability, a state-of-the-art 1 GHz instrument is being added to the Millburn House Facility to enhance the research profile and international competitiveness of the UK biological, pharmaceutical and materials research programmes.
“Deeley was tasked with the construction of a new wing to the Millburn House Magnetic Resonance Centre, which has been constructed to house the new Bruker 1 GHz solid-state NMR instrument.”
Steven Brown (University of Warwick, Dinu Iuga (University of Warwick)
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, on how the pandemic has impacted diversity in the sector.
As the UK begins to come back to the workplace, there is masses of talk around the “new normal” and what that will look like.
Will it mean more time working from home? Will more of us cycle to work? Will real face-to-face meetings be a thing of the past?
It is, on many of the major issues, too early to say. However, I think the “new normal” in many professions will look more male.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that gender equality in the workplace may well take a step back several decades.
This is a bold statement for me, as I am an optimist, someone who has avoided women only organisations and believes that we all stand equal based on our results, but Covid-19 has changed my perspective.
We have surveyed all our staff – the majority of which are male – around the return to work and childcare, and asked if there is any reason that while the schools are not back that staff cannot return to work. The overwhelming response was no.
While that is great for us as a company, I would suggest that the response was driven by the fact that people’s female partners and wives are predominantly the ones who take responsibility for childcare.
As much as it should not be the case, I suspect that in a large majority of cases, the woman in a relationship has more responsibility for childcare, cooking and housework but also holds down a job.
That means that over the months of lockdown when childcare has not been easy to come by, women have had to make more of a compromise. That should not be the case, but it is and that cannot be right.
It is just one example of how Covid has magnified differences – differences between nations, differences between genders, differences between education systems, and it has only acted to highlight how much more there is to do to really bring equality in all aspects of life.
I have worked in property for 20 years now and the industry has definitely changed in terms of equality.
There is certainly a lot less alcohol than there used to be and that has made it much easier for women as a great deal of business was done in the bar after work or even on the golf course – and although I am rather fond of a round of sambucas I could never fit in a round of golf with raising two children!
Most of the changes which have been brought about, have come with the changing times and differing attitudes, but actually the recession played a part in that, as the extra-curricular activities were vastly reduced purely by financial necessity and life moved into coffee shops rather than bars.
Clients have also driven and shaped that change. As you get more investment, funds move further into property to increase their returns, it becomes more analytical and factual and less based on connections, and has meant it is more about what you know than who you know.
But, of course, there is so much more to do. I recently spoke at a secondary school in Coventry about the careers that are available in the property industry, but I still think that, as a sector, we are behind the likes of accountancy and law when it comes to attracting a wide range of young people into the industry.
There is certainly a great awareness in the industry of the need for more diversity, and that is not just in terms of gender or ethnicity, but also socio-economically. Take work experience – a great deal of placements are set up through contacts, and you could have real potential but without that network, it may not get the chance to be realised.
Not only is that morally wrong, it also means the industry is missing out on great talent. Some of the leading players have programmes which are addressing that, but lack of accessibility is a real issue.
Of course, everyone in business is focused around trying to keep companies going and people employed but it would be a tragedy if many of the advances in diversity are yet another victim of this wretched virus.
A development of 55 new-build homes in Asfordby has been given the green light by Melton Borough Council.
Deeley Homes purchased the site three-miles west of Melton Mowbray last year and will be working in partnership with social housing and care organisation emh group to deliver the development.
The 6.15 acre site, which will be accessed by Saxelby Road, will be a split of shared ownership and market sale homes, and also include 10 affordable rent properties.
Detailed planning permission has now been given after the site secured outline planning permission in May 2018.
More than two thirds of the housing will now be affordable, which led the council to remove the requirement to contribute £25,000 to affordable homes elsewhere in the area.
The developers will be making contributions to improve highway safety outside the nearby primary school, upgrade local bus stops, provide bus passes and travel packs to new residents and also contribute to libraries and secondary education provision in the area.
Work is set to start on site in the Autumn, and is expected to be completed early in 2022
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “We’re excited to be bringing this development to market, whilst also providing key affordable housing for local people in Asfordby and surrounding areas.
“We will be working in partnership with emh group on both the market sale and affordable housing properties – ensuring the development responds to the needs of the area.
“The location of the development brings many advantages including excellent travel links to nearby towns and strong school options for residents.
“We will be making improvements to infrastructure around the development and are confident the scheme will be of great benefit to the area.”
Chris Jones, Executive Director of Development at emh group, said: “As a strategic partner of Homes England, the government housebuilding agency, we aim to deliver 600 new affordable homes across the East Midlands every year.
“I am delighted that through a strong partnership with Deeley Homes and Melton Borough Council we are contributing to meeting the housing needs and aspirations of people in the area with new homes for shared ownership and affordable rent.”
We have had a few planning consents emerging from the system in the last few weeks – all of which have been months in the making – covering a wide range of projects and geographies, and all are schemes that will help our pipeline of work as we navigate through these strange times.
Many planning committees are convening through video calls at the moment and we are beginning to see subtle changes, within the confines of established policy, which we believe are a result of the current crisis.
An example is our proposed scheme in Ledbury which will feature a community medical centre, locally-run children’s day nursery and a Lidl food store.
We are currently going through consultation and as part of that process we appeared at a Town Council meeting on Zoom. We felt there was far greater consideration than there would have been pre Covid-19 around the provision of local facilities alongside housing, and how developments and decisions could help limit travel times and help foster the community.
That has always been high up on the agenda of any Town or Parish Council, but we have noticed across different areas that there is a stronger emphasis than ever on providing for local people to ensure that they can get what they want and need within their own communities.
I think the current crisis has made authorities realise that you can’t just make one place busier and people can travel to, for example, the nearest retail development. The way we shop and way we live into the future is going to be considerably different.
We have found that people have taken on board that life has changed and that is not going to be for weeks, it is not going to be for months, we could be talking for the next few years.
It has been recognised that just because we have something now, which has worked up until this point, it is not necessarily going to be suitable or sustainable going into the future.
I think this will make Town and Parish Councils not only more relevant but also more powerful. There is a view – rightly or wrongly – that some councils do not want development whatever it is, or wherever it is but that approach will not work in the future.
Local councils know their communities better than anyone else and that level of knowledge is vital. We had a very good example last year in our dealings with Pillerton Priors Parish Council, where the members were very specific about the sort and variety of housing they felt would suit the community, and we adjusted our plans for The Meadows accordingly.
Obviously, there are agreed village plans which take precedence, but I think there is an acceptance that there is not enough affordable housing and it is not of the age or quality that is needed.
The current crisis has emphasised the importance of local family networks which can lend support when it is needed. It has as highlighted how having family close is a really great benefit for all and for a variety of reasons, and that living in the area you grew up in and having connections in your community can be very useful for everyone as it reduces the pressure on local service provision.
On a practical level, the session in Ledbury went very well and worked effectively. We have also had planning committees on Zoom, which are then broadcast through YouTube, and again that has worked without any issues.
There are, in fact, benefits in that I think it stops people talking too much and therefore makes the meetings more efficient!
Everyone is talking about the “new normal” and certainly in planning terms, we are seeing it develop with impacts in our industry, which, I believe, will only grow and hopefully bring increased benefits to the local communities in which we live and work.
A new Costa Coffee drive-thru restaurant is being created on a site in Wolverhampton – and will be central to perking up a well-loved community hub.
Midlands based developer Deeley Properties, in partnership with Ziran Land, has won planning consent to create the new drive-thru on the Birmingham New Road and Spring Road.
The development will be built on land owned by the 44 Club, which will be investing the sale proceeds back into the club and its facilities including its bar and function room, as well as snooker, crown green bowls, darts and a shooting range.
The club was founded in 1944, by some prominent Wolverhampton business leaders and now has around 240 members. The permission will also see money donated to local outdoor green spaces.
The development will create five full time and 12 part time jobs, and work is expected to begin on the new unit in September with opening in Spring 2021.
Andrew Brazier, of Deeley Properties, said: “This new unit will be a welcome addition to the local area and is situated on one of the main routes between Wolverhampton and Birmingham and will prove very popular both with people using the road network, but also locals.
“The land is not used at present but we have been able to realise considerable value for the 44 Club to help it improve what is a well-loved facility used by generations of people from the local community.
“We work across the retail sector throughout the UK, creating new units for a range of end-users. To have brought this forward from concept, through planning and delivery, for the benefit of all involved, is really pleasing.
Pictured: Andrew Brazier