A small development of houses is partway through construction in Guernsey due for completion in June 2014.
Ideally located close to amenities such as The Bridge as well as being a stone’s throw from the islands beaches and common area.
The project has been privately funded by brothers Richard and Ian Donaldson who own Dee Construction. On site managers Dee Construction spoke to Premier Construction about the progress of the projects so far at week 23 of the development. Managing Director Richard Donaldson said:
“I first came across the site through Living Rooms which are an estate agents here in Guernsey. The site used to hold one large dwelling and was situated on two thirds of an acre of land.
“Located in a suburban, built up area it felt like a natural progression for us to add 11 more houses to the area; which we started doing in May 2013. We demolished the existing property and are now in phase one of the project which involves constructing, decorating and fitting out nine properties.
“Phase two of the project will see an extra two properties added to the site. The decision to add an extra two houses was taken because there was some vacant land belonging to a neighbouring property. Our service road backs onto the boundary and so we bought the land and gained permission to build on it.”
Approval for the tenth and eleventh property came through in late October and so phase two is estimated to begin in November or December.
The nine properties currently under construction are at various stages. Two of the houses are close to completion, two are ready to be roofed; and three are in the process of being made wind and watertight.
The team are currently tiling the bathrooms of the properties which are fully erect and will move on to fitting carpets and kitchen installation in the following few weeks.
Fortunately there have been few complications so far with the development running smoothly. The on-site team have been able to utilise the gravity fed draining system used in neighbouring properties and so this has been a great help.
The team have only been unable to work on site during one and a half days of the development. The weather has been extremely mild which again has aided the swift progression of work.
Each property comprises two or three bedrooms, a spacious hallway with a downstairs toilet; and an open plan kitchen-lounge-dining area. All of the houses are south facing and patio doors have been installed offering the best of our sunny climate.
The properties are part furnished; fittings include high-spec kitchens being installed by sub-contractors Platinum Interiors in every house. Wardrobes can be found in the main bedroom of each building as well as being fully carpeted and tiled.
The houses fronting the development are in line with traditional Victorian style architecture as are many properties in Guernsey. The properties situated at the rear of the development will be traditional Guernsey granite fronted cottages.
Richard said that the on site team have done their best to minimise disruption to local residents and have had no complaints. As the site has a lot of parking – two to three parking spaces per property – there has been very little disruption to other properties in the area.
Working hours on site are not antisocial, tending to fall between 7.30am and 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. Sometimes the team have conducted work on Saturday mornings but apart from that their work tends to be carried out at regular working hours.
The neighbours have been very friendly during the development which Richard said is typical of Guernsey; people tend to talk openly about any on-site issues instead of reporting complaints through professional channels. Luckily no complaints have been issued formally or informally and Richard is pleased with the project’s progression.
Many of the houses are being sold on to local trust and holding companies. Some of the properties will be rented out to tenants whilst the remainder will be placed on the market for sale.
Three of the properties have already sold with prices ranging from £565,000 to £685,000. The average house price in Guernsey is approximately £450,000 equalling house prices in London.
Richard Donaldson told Premier Construction that the on-site team are a close knit bunch:
“We have 20 men on site each day and everyone gets on which is a bonus. All of the trades people involved on the project are very skilled; we are very concerned with quality labour.
“Dee Construction is synonymous with quality service in Guernsey, and has been for the past 30 years. People here know that we build quality homes and in a small community, word of mouth is your best form of advertising.”
All of the work carried out on site has been completed by local sub-contractors which have been hired by Dee Construction. Works completed by external contractors include electric work, plumbing facilities, kitchen fittings, roofing services and plasterers. Many of the sub contractors have worked alongside Dee Construction on many other projects over the past 20 years and so have a close working relationship.
Heading the development has been a big task for Richard and he expressed his enjoyment of being involved in the project:
“Once we had demolished the original building and cleared the site, seeing the development of 11 new houses gives me a great sense of satisfaction. I have been involved since the planning process along with our architects so it is rewarding to see the project looking how I wanted it to look.
“When things go well you can walk away from the job and feel very pleased. Dee Construction use quality material and quality labour and this is visible in all of our projects.”
Guernsey is part of the southernmost group of islands that make up the British Isles. The development is based in Guernsey which in total only spans 24 square miles. The British Isles sit in the Bay of St Malo, less than 30 miles from the French coast.
Boasting a mild climate, Guernsey is a coveted place to live and a popular tourist attraction with its impressive beaches and breathtaking cliffs paths. Guernsey is steeped in history and culture with a heritage dating back to the Neolithic era.
The island has been involved in pivotal battles between the UK and France and has also been an important port for international imports into the UK. During the Second World War Guernsey was occupied by German Forces for five years causing many locals to be separated from their families.
The 9th May sees Guernsey celebrate its freedom on Liberation Day where a programme of events based in the capital, Saint Peter Port, are held. Guernsey contains forts, castles, ruins and ancient tombs and is a place with an interesting history as well as being a coveted place to live.
Quatrieme development will be completed by June 2014 and will see 11 more properties available for tenancy and sale.