RG Falla begins construction on 24 energy efficient apartments for GHA

January 22nd, 2012 by Guernsey Housing Association

Guernsey Housing Association has signed a building contract with RG Falla for just under £4 million and work has started on the construction of 24 apartments, all for social rent, at a new clos to be called Clos Barbier off Rue Jehannet in St Martin.

Clos Barbier estate layout (please click map to expand - courtesy of Guernsey Housing Assocation)

This is the first Rural Area site to be developed under planning policy ‘RH2’, which is there to support new social housing in the Rural Area where it ”rounds off” existing social housing.

Over the last 3 years Guernsey Housing Association has been working closely with the States Housing Department, Environment Department, landowners and architects Tyrrell Dowinton to produce a design to meet the needs of older people living in St Martins.

The development will provide 24 apartments for rent to older people who are currently occupying three bedroom States houses, where their children have grown up and moved out. The aim is to prioritise tenants already living in the St Martin’s Parish.

The 12 ground floor apartments are designed to the ‘Lifetime Home’ standard to cater for people with restricted mobility and for wheelchair users. The properties are a good size with a double bedroom and a spare room for dining, or a study or for hobbies. There is level access to the property, wider internal doorways and circulation areas ensuring wheelchair accessibility, and the building can accommodate other adaptations as necessary at a later date.

Mindful that everyone likes to have some outdoor space of their own if possible, the ground floor apartments have their own small garden and patio, and the first floor apartments have a roof terrace.

First floor apartments will have a roof terrace (click image to expand - image courtesy of Guernsey Housing Association)

All the apartments will benefit from solar panels to provide hot water and heating, and the construction will provide high levels of energy efficiency by ensuring that the homes are well-insulated, have good levels of draught proofing and good quality windows and doors.

GHA’s Chief Executive, Steve Williams said “There has been a lot of time and effort to get to this point and we are delighted to see construction work starting on these much needed apartments for older people. For the first time GHA is providing new specially designed accommodation for residents in one of the rural parishes.”

“As part of the development GHA intends to improve the Rue Jehannet road layout, widening it and providing marked out parking spaces, creating some estate improvement for the sites neighbours,” he said.

Guernsey Housing Minister, Deputy Dave Jones, said “the Social Housing Development Programme has focused on providing smaller units of good quality accommodation to meet the needs of older tenants and to address the issue of under-occupation in the Housing Department’s stock.”

“The GHA’s proposals for this site tick all of the boxes in terms of meeting the specific needs of our tenants that we have identified within St. Martin’s, and in the rural areas generally. It will be a fantastic new development.”

The development is funded through a combination of States Housing Department grant funding making up 30% of the total costs and the remaining 70% funded from a Bank Loan from the HSBC Bank which GHA pays back from the rental income.

Guernsey Housing Minister, Deputy Dave Jones, with officials from the Housing Department, RG Falla, and Guernsey Housing Association at the Clos Barbier development site in St Martin on 23 January 2012 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The construction is scheduled to finish in January 2013, with potentially some apartments ready for occupation during November and December 2012.

The apartments will be owned and managed by GHA and 75% of the future residents are put forward to GHA by the Housing Department in exchange for their funding support.

The name Clos Barbier for the new clos was requested by the former landowners as it has a long historical link to the land.


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