Jersey Homes Trust – Social housing drive powers ahead
As part of a major new phase of social housing development, several new schemes are now under construction for the Jersey Homes Trust – Jersey’s second largest social housing provider – including one on the former De La Mare’s Nursery site on Rue Don in Grouville, and another at Garrett Anderson House, on the College Gardens re-development of the island’s former historic girls’ school in St Helier.
Hacquoil and Cook is the main contractor on De La Mare’s Nursery, with L2 Jersey Scaffolding Ltd responsible for the scaffolding.
RokRegal Ltd is the main contractor on the Garrett Anderson House project.
NSJ Chartered Surveyors are the Jersey Homes Trust’s audit surveyors on both schemes.
In Grouville, the project involves the construction of 35 social housing units – six for sale to first time buyers.
The former De La Mare Nurseries site sits on low-lying land within the Grouville coastal plain, abutting the built-up area of Ville-es-Renauds.
The site sits in a prominent and sensitive location and its redevelopment will define the new edge of the built-up area of Ville-es-Renauds. The development of the site provided an opportunity to remove the redundant glasshouses, reservoir and plastic tunnels immediately adjoining the site and ensure that this helps to repair the landscape.
The overriding aims of the development include those to: contribute to the provision of affordable homes in accordance with Policy H1 of the Island Plan; provide a well-designed affordable, residential development that repairs and enhances the visual amenity of the site and successfully integrates new development into the landscape context of the area – as well as creating a development which is efficient in terms of space and energy consumption, providing homes that are sustainable.
The scheme is also geared to ensuring that the new development is accessible to all modes of transport and is integrated with existing facilities and amenities.
Nigel Sweeny of NSJ said: “The project is going very well and the fine weather has been very helpful to the programme. The properties are constructed using SIPs system (Structural Insulated Panel) houses with a number of energy saving features, not least a high level of insulation. In addition, each house has its own garden and the scheme also has as a communal space to the central circulation area.
“All of the houses have slate roofs with white render to external elevations, combined with windows in dark grey frames –presenting a very striking design overall.
“One of the bigger challenges of the scheme was the drainage system, as this is a large site an attenuation tank will be installed below the communal space to serve all the houses.”
At College Gardens, Jersey Homes Trust has purchased Garett Anderson House, a new development of 40 units – 37 one-bedroom and three two-bedroom flats.
Semi-basement parking will be provided for the tenants and the four-storey building will have lift and stair access to all floors.
Nigel Sweeny said: “This project is going very well, the construction work is picking up speed and is due to be completed in the Autumn of 2018.
“Jersey Homes Trust has been established for over 20 years and has a very experienced and highly capable board of trustees, so it is really exciting to work amongst them on these types of project.”
Commenting on the scheme, the Chairman of the Jersey Homes Trust, Michael Van Neste, said: “We are delighted to be part of the development of this iconic St Helier site. We are also relieved that after a period where the development of social rented housing was halted whilst a review into provision in this sector was carried out, that construction is now going ahead again. There is still a shortage of rental homes for those in need in our society.”
The Jersey Homes Trust was established over 20 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation to provide social rented homes. The work of the Trust is benchmarked annually against the performance of UK housing associations. The running of the trust is outsourced, allowing it to maintain a low-cost base despite operating in a high-cost environment.