New homes for older residents in Mansfield
Flint Avenue is a £2.9m social housing development, consisting of 17 retirement bungalows in the Forest Town area of Mansfield. The scheme, delivered by Wates Residential North in partnership with Mansfield District Council, includes a single one bedroom and 16 two-bedroom properties, four of which are wheelchair accessible.
The overall infill site is 1.4 hectares in size, with 0.8 hectares for development of the bungalows, and 0.6 hectares of public open space. The project incorporated extensive landscaping works, including the creation of a trim trail with outdoor fitness stations, as well as refurbishment of an existing community centre.
Following scheme completion in December 2015, all 17 new homes are being rented to tenants aged over-60 via the Councils Homefinder service, encouraging tenants to downsize from larger properties to free up much needed family housing for the community.
Challenges and solutions
The completion date and contract led Wates Residential North to introduce a timber frame structure to ensure delivery within the target period. This aided quicker erection on-site and ensured all structures were watertight sooner, allowing internal trades to progress ahead of programme. The timber frame method also reduced the required number of site deliveries; of particular importance given the tight access routes into the site between neighbouring properties.
The timber frame solution also afforded better U-values than a traditional approach, ensuring greater thermal efficiency for each new home.
Site management challenges which we addressed included a range of works to boundary walls and retaining structures for adjacent properties, requiring close liaison with residents to alleviate any concerns they had prior to the works taking place.
The Wates team utilised the existing community centre as partial site accommodation for site meetings, helping to free up space on the extremely tight site. The centre was refurbished as part of the project works, for the benefit of the Forest Town community.
Public open space was utilised for car parking throughout the project, alleviating congestion and reducing disruption for neighbours, who were also issued with regular resident newsletters providing updates on construction progress.
Wates take the social, economic and environmental benefits of its project delivery seriously, with a national team dedicated to delivering a lasting legacy in the communities where we work. For this project, we achieved a number of outcomes, which are summarised below:
- 60% local labour used on the project
- Five apprentices supported during the project two of which were through the shared apprenticeship scheme with Futureworks
- Eight work placements provided for local young people
- Site visits for 82 local school children
- Worked closely with Brunts Academy throughout the project and held a Woman in Construction workshop there, designed to encourage female students to consider a future career in construction
- We held a Young Leaders programme of work experience at Brunts Academy
- Total spend of £1.4m with sub-contractors based within 40 miles of Flint Avenue
- £11k traded with social enterprises during the project
- Supply Chain Sustainability School championed by Wates, provided free of charge business improvement tools to our supply chain partners.